Position: Right Winger
Born: 03/29/94, Toronto, Ontario
NHL Central Scouting Rank: #15 North American Skater
Player Pages: NHL – EP – HF – OHL
Tom Wilson is a big, strong, tough winger who thinks in straight lines. He takes the shortest route to the puck, often running through puck-carriers at high speed. He creates room for his linemates in the offensive zone and stands up for himself and teammates with his fists when necessary. He has good hands, is strong in the corners, has good speed, and has the mental make-up to be effective playing against large-bodied men. He is somewhat injury-prone with his playing style, but his work-ethic and stubbornness will allow him to recover quickly. He also has solid defensive acumen.
Wilson missed a big chunk of time with a broken knuckle suffered in a fight, but he was a demon on the ice when healthy. Wilson only posted 9 goals and 27 points in limited ice time for the OHL Plymouth Whalers, but his 141 penalty minutes speaks to his willingness to stick his nose where it isn’t welcome and to get his hands dirty. His +17 shows he can keep the puck out of his own net, too. His offense came to light in the playoffs when he posted 7 goals and 13 points in 13 games to go along with a +10 rating and 39 PIM.
Wilson already plays with the reckless abandon of an NHL power forward. He is the type of player who can be useful on any line, but he is most likely to have a positive impact on a scoring line in need of a net-crashing presence and forechecker. Wilson will make the NHL in some role if he can stay healthy, it’s just a matter of how good his offense will be and how long it will take.
Plans for next season:
Wilson will spend next season in the OHL where he will be expected to take on more responsibility. He may also get a look for Team Canada at the World Juniors. Wilson will probably spend a season in the AHL after that before splitting 2014-15 between the AHL and NHL. He will probably get the chance to be an NHL regular in 2015 on a scoring line, but his regular NHL duty may come sooner on a checking or energy line because of his size and versatility.