Monday, June 20, 2011

Will Colin Wilson mature going into next year?

Colin Wilson played all 82 games for the Nashville Predators in the 2010-2011 regular season. He played in just three postseason games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wilson sat out the entire first round series against the Anaheim Ducks and only played in the final three games in the Vancouver series. Coach Barry Trotz was trying to send a message to Wilson that laziness will not be tolerated.

Most people don't realize that Wilson was actually the youngest player on the roster for the Predators this past year. He has a tremendous amount of upside to his game if he reaches his full potential. Wilson just has to realize that it takes hard work and effort to score in the NHL, and you have to play two-way hockey if you want to play for Trotz.

I've often said that Wilson has the best hands on the team. All it takes is a glance at the warm ups before the game to notice that. However, there's more to hockey in the NHL world than having great hands. Positioning is key. A player has to put himself in a position to score, whether it's by driving to the net or being in a position to get a high percentage shot off.

If Wilson takes another step in his maturation process next year, he'll be a much more effective player in the 2011-2012 season. He has to work on his defensive abilities. Wilson also has to work on going to the hard areas and working hard for the points you get. I think he'll find that he'll be on the score sheet more often by going to the hard areas than he was by trying to finesse his way into a goal.

Having said that, it's been proven that Wilson has the talent to score pretty goals. He's scored multiple goals while falling down, or falling away from the puck. If he's able to combine his offensive skill with defensive determination and the willingness to go to the difficult areas of the ice, the Predators will find themselves with a much improved overall hockey player.