Tom Wilson Developing Early Reputation as Capitals’ Enforcer
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Caps right winger Tom Wilson is quickly developing a professional reputation as being an enforcer.
Wilson, 19, who fought in two of the Caps’ eight preseason games, was involved in another skirmish in Washington’s 5-4 shootout win over the Flames Thursday evening.
Roughly eight minutes into the first period, Jack Hillen went down in a heap, after getting his left knee forcibly wedged between the boards and Calgary’s Lance Bouma.
Wilson chased after Bouma and began throttling him with left hooks. If you’re a Caps fan, it was a sight to behold to see the young winger take up for his teammate, in seeking immediate eye-for-an-eye justice.
Hillen would eventually have to be helped off the ice by Alex Ovechkin and a member of the Capitals training staff.
Although in total, Wilson only has two regular season (and three playoff) games under his belt with the Caps, people are starting to take notice of his propensity to drop the gloves.
On Sept. 20, Wilson went after Kyle Beach in the Caps’ 5-4 preseason shootout loss to the Chicago. After the game, Ovechkin referred to 2012’s 16th overall pick as the piece the Caps were missing.
“He’s tough, man….You can see he score the goal, make big hits, fight,” Ovechkin said, per the Washington Post’s Katie Carrera.
And not only is he fighting … he’s winning.
HockeyFights.com – which tracks hockey fight metrics about as statistically proficient as possible – has Wilson undefeated at 3-0, winning the fan vote by an average margin of 79.5 percent, in his three bouts, including both regular season and preseason games, in 2013-14.
On Friday, in an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny, Wilson was asked about the frequency with which he comes to blows, and Thursday’s fight in particular.
“You’re a good-looking guy, why would you risk your face in a fight? Why would you do that?” Holden asked.
“I don’t know,” Wilson said. “It’s easy to say off the ice, but I mean when you get into the heat of the moment, and you see a teammate down and stuff, sometimes there’s bigger things to keep than a pretty face.”
“Tom, did you guys say anything to each other before you started throwing hands?” Danny asked. “Or did you just make a beeline and start giving him the business?”
“I just turned around and saw that Jack was on the ice, and [Bouma] was skating towards me, and I kind of just said ‘Let’s go,’ and his gloves came off pretty quick, so I figured he was eager and we went at it,” Wilson said.
What separates Wilson from previous Caps enforcers, like DJ King and Donald Brashear, or even Aaron Volpatti, currently on the roster, is his scoring ability.
In 48 games with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) last season, Wilson had 23 goals and 25 assists for 58 points.