LOS ANGELES- Three has been a bit of a magic number for the Nashville Predators’ Colin Wilson this season.
He has played all three forward positions and logged minutes in all three situations, this despite the 2010-2011 campaign being his first full NHL season.
“He’s been huge for us. We’re definitely thankful he’s on our side and he’s been playing really well,” Predators right winger Joel Ward said.
Where some organizations may shy away from utilizing a young player in so many different positions and situations, the Predators have been eager to get Wilson’s strength and smarts into as many spots as they can this season. Nashville Head Coach Barry Trotz has compared Wilson to Rod Brind’Amour in the past and has already begun leaning on him the way the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes relied on Brind’Amour.
“We just want him to get confident offensively and he’s doing a good job offensively. Now he’s doing a good job defensively,” said Trotz. “He’s given us that versaility, he’s played left wing, right wing, he’s played a little bit of center in a couple of games, so, I think that’s really good for his growth pattern.”
There has been no hesitation from Wilson either, who has welcomed the chance to become proficient in so many areas of the game.
“I like it when coach is showing trust on me early on my career. I’m feeling good about it and that definitely gives me confidence when coach puts me out there in those situations,” Wilson said.
The 21-year-old Wilson also broke out with three multi-point games in a span of five contests earlier this season, highlighting his offensive aptitude in the Preds’ defensive system. His 14 goals rank him third among Nashville forwards as the team sits a single point outside the Western Conference’s top eight.