Freight Train Expectations: With A Full Season As A First-Line Player Under His Belt, Tom Wilson Looks Set for Success

While it may seem hard to believe, the 2018-19 NHL season will begin in just several more weeks. With training camp set to begin sometime in September, players will begin making their way back to their teams’ respective cities to prep for the upcoming season. For the Capitals, they will be entering the season as the defending Stanley Cup champions, a position that brings with it a number of unknowns. The majority of the team’s core will be returning, including right wing Tom Wilson. With a career season in the books, the ink dry on a new six-year contract, and some offseason conditioning, the former first-round pick looks set to build on his 2017-18 campaign.

For the first time in his five-season NHL career, Wilson was given the opportunity to establish himself as a true first-line right wing, a role the Caps had in mind when they selected him with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. It took four seasons, but the 24-year old Toronto native finally broke through in the team’s Cup-winning season, reaching double digits in the goal department (14) and 20 assists for the first time in his career (21) for a career-high of 35 points in 78 games played, all while averaging a career-high 15:59 of ice time a night for former Head Coach Barry Trotz. While Trotz has since departed the team, former Associate Coach Todd Reirden has taken the reigns behind the bench and barring a dramatic turn of decision-making, Wilson should see the same role he did last season playing alongside captain Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

However, Wilson now has a glistening new six-year, $31 million contract that carries with it a $5.17 million cap hit, one that drew criticism from some after just one solid season from the rigged winger. So what should fans (and the team) expect from Wilson this season? Assuming Reirden doesn’t change things too drastically, Wilson should see time as the top-line right wing alongside the aforementioned Ovechkin and Kuznetsov, and should meet or exceed the ice time he saw last season. With longtime penalty kill stalwart Jay Beagle gone, Wilson will likely be asked to play an even larger role on the penalty kill, a situation he has excelled at over the last few seasons. Assuming he avoids supplementary discipline (something he dealt with last season), he should be able to reach the 20-goal, 40-point plateaus for the first time in his career this season; his shooting percentage of 1.58 last season was by far his best in a single season, and his 0.18 goals and 0.27 assists per game were better than his career averages in that category.

If Wilson’s performance in the postseason en route to the team’s Stanley Cup championship (15 points in 21 games played) were any indication, he should pick up right where he left off last season. Still just 24 and not yet in the prime of his career, Wilson has the chance to grow his game to another offensive height. If he can meet or exceed his totals from last year, he could be one of the Caps’ most important pieces come playoff time.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
This entry was posted in News, NHL, Offense, Players, Predictions, Washington Capitals and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Freight Train Expectations: With A Full Season As A First-Line Player Under His Belt, Tom Wilson Looks Set for Success

  1. Pingback: Tom Wilson Wants To Stay Out Of the Penalty Box More, But That Doesn’t Mean He Won’t Still Be Physical Presence For Capitals | NoVa Caps

  2. jane says:

    GM really created serious problem for our new coach with TW bad contract.
    There can be a preassure on coach to keep TW43 as a top-line RW for 82 games instead of giving chance to more skilled and talented players.
    Priority must be winning SC, not trying to prove that bad contract is a good one and trying to get 20 goals from TW /having him in first line for 82 games/ instead of getting 30 goals from Vrana or Walker or Bura or Gersich or……….as a 1st line RW.
    Coach must be flexible and never stop searching for better options.

  3. Pingback: Will Tom Wilson Be Suspended For Hit On Oskar Sundqvist? | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: Tom Wilson To Recieve In-Person Player Safety Hearing For Hit On Oskar Sundqvist | NoVa Caps

  5. Pingback: Tom Wilson Likely To Appeal Suspension According To Todd Reirden | NoVa Caps

  6. Jackson Avent says:


    SEO Link building is a process that requires a lot of time.
    If you aren’t using SEO software then you will know the amount of work load involved in creating accounts, confirming emails and submitting your contents to thousands of websites in proper time and completely automated.

    With THIS SOFTWARE the link submission process will be the easiest task and completely automated, you will be able to build unlimited number of links and increase traffic to your websites which will lead to a higher number of customers and much more sales for you.
    With the best user interface ever, you just need to have simple software knowledge and you will easily be able to make your own SEO link building campaigns.

    The best SEO software you will ever own, and we can confidently say that there is no other software on the market that can compete with such intelligent and fully automatic features.
    The friendly user interface, smart tools and the simplicity of the tasks are making THIS SOFTWARE the best tool on the market.


    Regards, Jackson Avent
    Austria, BURGENLAND, Monichkirchen, 2872, Langenloiser Strasse 41

Leave a Reply