Colin Wilson had a breakout season in 2014-15 and topped it off with an outstanding Stanley Cup playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Greenwich, Connecticut native netted his first 20-goal regular season and set a record for most tallies in a playoff series with five.
The 26-year-old earned a 4-year, $15.25 million dollar contract that avoided arbitration. Wilson was looking to prove the Nashville Predators that has worth every penny of that new deal.
However, injuries and scoring woes have limited the Boston University product to six goals and 18 assists. Wilson has been plagued with long goalless slumps that have even seen him be a healthy scratch for the first time in his career.
He was finally able to break out of his latest scoring skid with a goal in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche, which was also the first multi-point game since March 8 for the former seventh overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft.
Could the goal be the start of him being a threat once again in the Nashville lineup?
Wilson started off the season in rough fashion with an early goalless-drought before a lower-body injury kept him out for most of the month of December. He provided a goal and two assists in the last game before the Christmas break against the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 21.
It looked he was going to get back on track before another lower-body injury in early January that took him a month to get over.
Last season also saw injury troubles with three different ailments, but he still managed to get 20 goals.
Slumps & Scratches
The season has also been littered with scoring issues to go along with the injury struggles. Wilson went goalless in the months of November and March and that will take a bite out of anyone’s goal total. (He almost went without a goal in February, but tallied on Feb. 27 against St. Louis.)
The lack of goals also caused Wilson’s ice time to diminish from its usual 15-plus minutes to as low as 8:27 on March 29 against the Dallas Stars.
The woes were enough for Predators coach Peter Laviolette to bench his troubled winger in the March 31 game at Pittsburgh. His two points a couple of games later against the Avs finally got him off the skid.
Despite the goal, he told the team’s website that he was not satisfied.
I wouldn’t say relieved; it’s a little late in the season to be relieved,” Wilson smiled. “But it felt good. I felt good going into the game, and it’s nice for that puck to go in. I want to build some confidence going into the playoffs, and it’s a good way to start.”
The Verdict on Colin Wilson
It’s a small sign of life, but any sign is good for the troubled scorer. Colin Wilson plays an important part in the Predators’ playoff dreams despite the acquisition of Ryan Johansen and the red-hot scoring of James Neal and Filip Forsberg.
If Nashville wants to win a playoff series for the third time in franchise history, they’ll need him to regain that form that made him a so key in last year’s playoffs.
Covered hockey since attending SUNY Oswego in Upstate New York in the early 2000s. Has written about college, major junior and professional hockey for the last five years.
Resides in Watertown, NY.