Many NHL fans outside of DC area see Tom Wilson solely as an enforcer – a hockey player who sometimes crosses the line on big hits. But for fans inside the beltway, Wilson is one of the best power forwards in the NHL. The 2018 Stanley Cup champion is a first-line player on the Capitals and an effective and important player at even strength, the power play, and the penalty kill.
The Canadian National Team, led by general manager Doug Armstrong and head coach Jon Cooper, appear to see Wilson’s value too as the Toronto, Ontario-native may be on the country’s long list for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Each Olympic team was required to submit a preliminary list that includes 50 skaters and five goalies so they can begin anti-doping testing.
Countries have until Oct. 15 to submit their long list of players for the men's Olympic tourney. Long list of 50 or so players. Those players subjected to drug testing, etc. Final rosters to be submitted sometime in early January, still TBD on exact date.@TSNHockey @TheAthletic
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 1, 2021
Canada’s first three players — Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Alex Pietrangelo — were named in October while the long-list goalies’ names were reported by Pierre Lebrun: Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury, Darcy Kuemper, Jordan Binnington, Carter Hart, and MacKenzie Blackwood.
The Star’s Chris Johnston dug up two other possible names. According to a November 8 story, Cooper has begun calling players by phone who are being considered for the team since there was no summer orientation camp.
Sportsnet host David Amber also included Wilson’s name on his own personal list of forwards getting consideration.
🇨🇦 Olympic F's
In the mix:
— David Amber (@DavidAmber) November 15, 2021
Wilson’s rise is incredible considering how deep and talented Canada’s rosters always are, especially at forward. Wilson has also never played for Canada’s top national team before – even in junior. The only time he’s represented his country was when he played for Canada Ontario U17 in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2010-11.
Among Canadian NHL skaters this year, Wilson has the 24th most points (13 in 15 games). Wilson’s size, speed, space-making, and ability to play on the bottom six and penalty kill could be what sets him apart from other players and possibly get him an Olympic nod.
Countries’ 25-man Olympic rosters will be announced in January.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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