Tom Wilson THW Close-Up:
Date of birth: 3/29/1994
Place of birth: Toronto, Canada
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 194 lbs
Draft eligibility: 2012
I’ve always gravitated towards power forwards in the NHL and Tom Wilson seems to be no exception. With his mammoth size, bruising physical play and mental toughness, it is no wonder why Wilson continues to move up the rankings charts. Last year, Wilson only played in 28 games and scored a measly six points, but his presence was felt on the PIM sheet. As a 16 year-old, scouts knew they were only seeing a single aspect of Wilson’s overall potential.
In an offseason where the Plymouth Whalers gained statesmen JT Miller and Danny Vanderwiel, on top of a solid returning class featuring the likes of Rickard Rakell, Stefan Noesen, Garrett Meurs and Austin Levi, Tom Wilson found himself in an optimum position surrounded by top level prospects to showcase his talents this season. He has become an integral part of the Whalers’ success this season as the team sits two points behind the London Knights in the Western Conference, good for 2nd overall.
The biggest improvement Tom has made from last season has been his skating. Where he once was a very choppy skater, Wilson has honed his skills tremendously over the course of a season. For a “big man” it isn’t very often you see shifty moves like the ones Wilson has, but that’s where his style of play becomes deceptive for other teams. If he won’t beat you with his body, he will certainly take advantage with his stickwork. His shot certainly has a great deal of speed behind it, but he needs to work on his release. A knock on him throughout the season is his consistency; some games he has “it” and some games he doesn’t.
Overall, Wilson is tough to gauge in terms of potential. He could top out as a top-6 winger capable of putting up points or fit nicely in a bottom-6 role as an enforcer/checking line winger. The beautiful thing about a prospect of Wilson’s caliber is that he is able to be slotted anywhere in the lineup. In all honesty, I can see him going in the late first or early second round in this year’s Draft.
“Punishing winger with decent hands and promise in slot anchoring. Skating is a work in progress but his impact as an imposing offensive corner punisher is undeniable. Not destined to be a 20-goal NHLer, but will have merit down low and in front, as he brings nastiness and grit.” – Jay Carlos, MyNHLDraft.com
“Wilson is a very imposing winger who has thrived with the Plymouth Whalers this season as a forward who brings plenty of size, grit, and physicality to the team’s lineup. Wilson is versatile and has enough ability to play with skilled players while playing a physical role. His skating has steadily improved and his willingness to take the body with his size creates a lot of space for teammates. He’s good in the corners on the cycle and does a good job wearing down opposing teams as well. It is concerning that he only has 6 goals while playing with players like Stefan Noesen, Rickard Rakell, and JT Miller, but Wilson is a player who is likely going to take some time to grow into his frame and find out just how high his ceiling is.” – The Scouting Report
“At 6’4″ Wilson possesses tremendous size which he uses to his advantage. He seems to relish the physical game, uses his size to battle along the boards, drive to the net, and park himself in front of opposing goaltenders to cause havoc. Once he adds some bulk to his frame, he’ll be a force. Wilson has a finishing touch. They may not always be the prettiest goals, but he knows just what to do and where to go to clean up the trash and deposit pucks into the net. He has already established a strong two way game. His skating is above average. We can’t say enough about his physicality.” – 2012 OHL Draft Eligible Players
ETA = 3-4 years
Risk: 1/5 Reward: 4/5
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- Build up more fluid skating
- Develop a consistent game
- Puck control
- Adding more bulk to his frame
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive: 4.5/10 Defensive: 5/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
– Milan Lucic
– Zack Kassian