Arguably Nashville’s top offensive option, Colin Wilson has high expectations heading into this season after putting together the best season of his NHL career in 2012-13 before his shoulder injury.
Wilson had surgery on both shoulders last April but was right on schedule to be back and ready to go when training camp started almost three weeks ago. He was able to fight through tedious rehabilitation on the pathway to recovery and was able to get back on the ice and start doing his normal off-ice workouts on schedule.
“A lot of it was rehab for the first two months, but I got back into everything else pretty quick,” Wilson said. “It didn’t really stagger my workout. It didn’t hurt it.”
Wilson seemed to turn the corner last season in terms of his consistency. He put up 19 points in 24 games before his injury and was the best player on the ice for the Predators on most nights. He was also an effective player in his own end, which was something that had been missing from his game on a consistent level prior to that point. Wilson credits his success to a change in mindset, which he will continue to carry with him into this upcoming season.
“I just started enjoying the game a lot more and having a lot more fun with it. When I’m out here, that’s all I’m thinking about. Having fun and helping the team win games. As much of a cliche’ as it is, when you focus on those two things that’s when you play well so I’m obviously going to keep that mentality throughout camp and the start of the season,” Wilson said.
It seems like Wilson has been with the Predators for a long time, despite the fact that he’s only 23 years old and will turn 24 on Oct. 20. He’s played with the Predators for four seasons, which actually makes him one of the more veteran forwards in the locker room in terms of having been with Nashville.
Because of the young group of forwards the Predators have, Wilson is going to be asked to embrace more of a leadership role as he’s entering his fifth season. It’s a responsibility that he believes he’s ready for.
“It’s something I want to do,” Wilson said. “I want to help the team and become more of a leader. This is going to be my fifth year with the organization, so I want to take on that kind of role. I want to take a little bit more pride in it, and I think that can only help me.”
If Nashville can get the same sort of consistency from Wilson this season over an 82-game span with him staying healthy, he’s going to be a legitimate offensive threat that the opposition has to be aware of on a nightly basis. Wilson’s rapid jump in maturity over the past few seasons is evidenced by the fact that he wants to take on more of a leadership role. If he’s able to do that, he’s going to be a game-changer for the Predators, which is something they haven’t had at the forward position in a long time.