2012 NHL Draft Scouting Report: Thomas Wilson
Wilson is one of the more interesting players for the 2012 NHL Draft. He has all the tools that you look for in a potential north to south power forward at the next level. I’ve been a big fan of him since his days with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the Greater Toronto Hockey League. He always showed strong upside, and I thought he had NHL potential. He has also had the opportunity to represent both Ontario at the U17 World Challenge, as well as Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament last year.
There are many reasons why I’m a big fan of Thomas Wilson. First and foremost, I love his projectable upside. You don’t see to many players with his combination of size and offensive upside. He has the ability to change a game in so many ways. He can play aggressive on the forecheck, make a smart pass, drive the net and bat in a rebound, or drop the gloves and change the momentum of a game. Now, some will look at his point totals this season and suggest that he has limited offensive upside, but that’s the danger of judging players solely based on points. In multiple viewings this year over the course of many months, he showed some very impressive improvements with the puck. At the end of the regular season and in the playoffs he has much more improved offensively then he was at the beginning of the season. Also, he missed a significant portion of last year with a broken leg, so it was expected that he would start off a little slowly. The other thing that you love is his size and strength. He is one of the stronger and more aggressive players in the age group, and the expectation is that he could be a top 6 forward at the next level with some untapped offensive upside who will make a physical presence on every shift.
Wilson is rated high due to his projectable upside. He has a long way to go in regards to his footwork and acceleration. He skates well for a player of his size, but needs to work on his first few steps. Once he gets going he is fine, but truly maximizing his first few strides and maximizing his footwork will be of benefit. He also has room to grow with his overall puck skills. He has shown strong growth in this area over the year (as witnessed by his play in the playoffs), but still has room to grow. He shows good vision when he has time, but needs to work on making quicker and more intelligent decisions with the puck in both the offensive and neutral zones.
Individual skill Rankings (out of 10)
Skill : 7
Hockey Sense: 9
Positional Play: 7
Wilson projects out as a top 9 forward at the next level, but could develop into an aggressive, physical top 6 with offensive abilities. A lot of people like to use Milan Lucic as a comparable, which has some merit. I’m not sure if he will ever get there, but its worthwhile to look at, and worth the roll of the dice.
Wilson is ranked as the 8th best Ontario based player for the draft, and should be drafted in the 20th to 30th range of the NHL Draft