Tom Wilson is a polarizing figure in Caps land, but exactly how good was this ruggedly handsome Canadian lad in 2016-2017? Let’s find out.
|12:56||time on ice per game|
|52.0||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|59.0||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows various metrics for the player over the course of the 2016-17 season. A short description of each chart:
Tom Wilson had another season in which he was deployed up and down the lineup, though he spent most of the year with Jay Beagle and Daniel Winnik on the fourth line. That trio played a lot of minutes in “defensive” situations against opposition that was pretty meh. Wilson was able to keep his head above water when it came to playing with the puck versus without it (52.0 shot attempt percentage), and the line overall was able to outscore their opponents by a significant margin. Wilson also tied his career high in goals (7) but fell short of his past season career-high total of 23 points. On a team with as much offensive firepower as the 2016-17 Caps, I think you take that total from your fourth line right wing all day, every day.
Another positive to Wilson’s season was yet another full 82-game schedule. With how rough and tough his style of play is, and with how he has become a fixture on the penalty kill, it’s great to see him durable enough to handle all of his hitting, fighting, shot-blocking, etc. duties. With some of the potential departures on the front line this summer, Wilson becoming a pillar in the uglier and less flashy parts of the game (but still integral to team success) is a blessing of sorts.
Speaking of those departures, it is quite likely that number 43 will see his role grow in the future. Is next year the year that he finally grows out of fourth line duties? Will he ever express the offensive potential that he’s had since he was drafted? Who knows, but considering the Capitals’ hesitancy with Jakub Vrana and question marks over the heads of about 600 free agent forwards, I think it’s likely for Wilson to have a breakout.
RMNB’s Pat Holden just put out a piece on whether or not the Capitals should have protected restricted free agent Brett Connolly over Wilson in the expansion draft. Wilson is with the Caps for one more year before he himself becomes a restricted free agent. I think 2017-18 is the year that he needs to prove that the team made the right decision – whether Connolly gets taken or not.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 30, 2016
Okay, you’ve been patient. Let’s talk about the playoffs.
Do you agree with the Capitals protecting Wilson from the expansion draft? Has Wilson reached his peak production output?
Headline photo: NHL
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