Ed. Note: From August 21st through September 16th, we will be providing previews for each player for the 2013-14 season. In no specific order, today we begin with Colin Wilson…
|Colin Wilson’s last 3 seasons|
2012-13 in review:
One night after arguably having the best game of his career – a two-goal, four-point night against Edmonton – Colin Wilson’s season ended on Mar. 9 against Minnesota when he fell awkwardly into the boards. The shoulder injury Wilson suffered halted what was turning into his breakout season.
In previous seasons the word that always came up with Wilson was “consistency”. He didn’t have it. He’d be great one night, a non-factor the next. That changed in the lockout-shortened season. Wilson was the Predators’ best offensive player in a first half where the team struggled to locate its identity before the injury bug hit hard.
Unlike the tail end of 2011-12, Wilson was given consistent ice time and capitalized on his opportunity. He ended the season after 25 games with 19 points, a total that maintained as the team’s leader for many games after his injury.
Burning question for 2013-14: Can Wilson be ‘the guy’?
The drafting of Seth Jones altered the Predators’ plans in the off-season. They were hoping to get more dynamic offensively through the draft, reportedly attempted to pull off a big trade for Tyler Seguin, but ended up spending over $36 million on July 5th to get deeper offensively.
How does that affect Wilson? It means the team will be banking on him to carry over the success he was having in the first half of last season. His 19 points in 25 games extrapolated to a 62-point pace over an 82-game season, which would be the most points accumulated in a season by a Predator since J.P. Dumont had 65 in 2008-09.
Can Wilson be the guy the Preds turn to when they’re in need of a goal or a spark? More importantly, can he do that consistently enough to cement his status on the first line? If he can stay healthy and record 20-plus goals and/or 50-60 points, that would be the next step in his progression that the Preds are seeking from him.
There has been talk of Wilson eventually moving to center, his natural position, but the team’s depth down the middle means the 23-year-old will continue to play on the wing. On a team that has more depth than firepower, Wilson should get every opportunity to prove he is a first-line player.