Size Matters, Featuring Tom Wilson
At 6-4 this big winger suits up for the Plymouth Whalers and has a physical side to his game that might set him apart from many of the other prospects in the 2012 NHL Draft. It might even make him a first-round pick.
In his second year he had moderate offensive numbers but when the playoffs hit he turned it on averaging a point-per-game with almost as many goals (7) as he had in the regular season (9).
“It gave me a little chance to re-focus after the season. That’s what I did. Unfortunately we had some injuries and I was able to step in big situations and help the team offensively,” said the 205 pound forward. “Obviously it was tough losing that last game.”
Before the combine Wilson was already focused on getting bigger and stronger for next season.
“Just as the season ended I’ve been trying to put on a bit more weight. Some good weight. I think I should play a bit heavier. I have protein shakes. I’m eating well nothing too crazy,” he said like a guy who is watching what he eats. And then he talked about some of his favorite food.
“Steaks for sure. Mashed potatoes and broccoli. I’m a cookie dough ice cream guy and cheesecake fan but only on special occasions.”
There is a great video of Tom fighting in the playoffs and he wasn’t shy talking about it.
“That was in Kitchener against a big power forward like myself….”It helped the guys out we actually scored two goals after that. It got the energy going.”
Wilson, like so many other players, fights for a purpose.
“The first reason for fighting to protect players on your team…I’m just a big guy and I hit guys and fights seem to find me,” he said honestly.
“It was weird. I thought to myself that I spent 140 minutes in the box. I could have been doing so much other stuff on the ice during that time. Holy Cr##! I don’t try and get my PIMS up. It sounds bad. My coach Michael Vellucci has talked to me about stopping at the whistle and playing between the whistles.”
Like many hockey players Wilson was a great athlete that has a surprising skill.
I could do a running long jump of like 4.71 meters in sixth grade, he said modestly. He believes he won the event with that jump.
During this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs the Toronto native really liked the play of one player.
“Last night just watching Ryan Callhan on New York, he’s not as close as Milan Lucic is to me, not as much of a power forward but he works so hard and he’s a great leader. It’s really something what he does,” said the soon to be drafted winger.
“Every time he is out there he does whatever he takes. Blocking shots in the OT game was incredible. Everything about his game is about hard work. I admire him for sure,” he stated.
This prospect is known for his hard work and he’s really looking forward to the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, PA.
“I think the whole thing is going to be amazing,” Wilson said. “Any team would be crazy, but growing up a Leafs fan, and being from Toronto, would be amazing.”
Like most sports fans he’ll take in some baseball games in the offseason.
“I love going down to the Rogers Centre. Here and there it’s a fun thing to do.”
This kid has the right stuff to get to the next level.
photo courtesy of Rena Laverty, Plymouth Whalers