149 games into his NHL career, is anyone confident they know what the Caps have in Tom Wilson? Probably not. But that’s okay. While 2014-15 provided more questions than answers about his usage and development, there’s still things to appreciate and time for Whip to develop.
|10:56||Average time on ice per game|
|54.1%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|48.9%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
Wilson’s on-ice shot-attempt percentage in 10-game running segments, according to War on Ice:
Wilson is not a bust and shouldn’t be considered one, regardless of where his career goes from here. He was drafted 16th overall in 2012 and has already played in 149 games. 40 percent of 16th overall picks never accumulate even 100 NHL games and only 25 percent becomes anything more than an NHL regular.
It’s also easy to forget how young Wilson is. Through his age-20 season, he’s appeared in 149 games and notched 27 points. Only 84 other players in the history of the NHL have accumulated that number of games and points by the completion of their age-20 season. This isn’t to say that more shouldn’t expected of Wilson, and if he never amounted to more than a fourth liner, that’d be disappointing. But at this point, patience and perspective should prevail.
Zeroing in on 2014-15, there were things Wilson did well:
But yet, it’s fair to want more.
For their part, the Caps could do more to help his development. Nothing should be handed to him, but an opportunity at a role in the middle-six is what he needs at this point. Yet, he spent the entirety of the season riding shotgun with Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom, or buried on the fourth line.
Looking ahead to 2015-16, it’s time for the Caps to give Wilson middle-six minutes and it’s up to him to seize the opportunity.
Moving forward, what do you expect from Wilson? And how do you think the Caps should use him?
Read more: Japers Rink
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