Photo credit: Panini

Earlier in the week, Washington Capitals prospect Tom Wilson participated in the NHLPA’s Rookie Showcase. The two-day event, held in Wilson’s hometown of Toronto, Ontario, brought dozens of the NHL’s most talented prospects together so that NHLPA partners Panini and Upper Deck could take photos and collect signatures for future trading cards. Big names at the event included 2013 first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon, third overall pick Jonathan Drouin, and that one Subban who plays goalie.

On day one, the players were split into groups and led through a series of sessions with Upper Deck and Panini. The uber-talented prospects signed helmets, sticks, and jerseys that will be sliced up and put into cards. Above, you can see that Wilson signed some cards with “Go Caps!”

Once the prospects were done signing and their hands were sufficiently cramped, handlers herded them into a room hosted by EA Sports, which probably did not help their sore hands. The players took 3D headshots (to be used in the NHL15) and then tried out the unreleased NHL14. Later, the players had a pretty intense tournament on the upcoming new release and Wilson– in the words of the NHLPA — won, “fearlessly dominating the entire group.” Atta boiiii.

Wilson is as intense playing the video game as he is out on the ice.

“It was a lot of fun,” Wilson told’s Tal Pinchevsky. “[MacKinnon] was up 4-2 and I came all the way back. I think he was a little bit rattled. He was upset, but it was a good game and definitely a fun tournament.”

On day two, the players woke up early and met at the nearby MasterCard Centre in Mississauga for a full day of photo shoots on and off the ice. Getty Images took photos of the players in and out of their NHL team uniforms.

Then: actual hockey. Wilson played on the losing Team White, which is completely unacceptable.

Finally, Wilson made his own hand-drawn card. Every year, Panini forces artistically-challenged prospects to draw and color something important to them. Wilson chose to draw the Canadian flag.


Look how proud he is.

Below, I share another 3 gigabytes of media from the event. You’re welcome.


Photo credit: Panini


Photo credit: Panini


Photo credit: Panini


Photo credit: Panini


Photo credit: NHLPA


Photo credit: Panini


Photo credit: Panini


Photo credit: EA Sports


Photo credit: @Rammer34


Photo credit: @Rammer34


Photo credit: @PaniniAmerica


Photo credit: @PaniniAmerica


Wilson is on the bottom all the way to the left. (Photo credit: NHLPA)

How cool does MacKinnon look while doing this?


  • Freedoooom

    Now I want a panini…

  • I’m eating a panini RIGHT NOW

  • yv

    Speaking about EA14 which free demo version is available now for download for ps3 and xbox. I wonder that Caps have completely screwed it because of recent Grabo signing or EA can correct Caps roster and lines before official release in September? Caps now more powerful and can win, at- least there the Cup!…

  • They won’t fix it for the game. But there’ll probably be a roster update available immediately, I’m sure.

  • Yeah, my understanding is that a launch-day DLC update is common for sports games for exactly this purpose. That’s also the reason why we should ignore team-ranking stories based on video games– they’re done on aggregate of outdated rosters.

  • Jake Green-Go

    I love the EA nhl series. favorite game mode is Hut. cant wait to see how bad EA made holtby this year. I’m pretty sure holts was an 82 overall in hut last year

  • Jake Green-Go

    Cant wait for 14 so you guys may stare at my pretty xbox until then. =P

  • That’s awesome. I need an air hockey table painted like this for my new house! BADLY.

  • yv

    Congratulations! I recalling you lived before in the ‘farm’ and bet it for the Caps. Dont bet the new one, someone would be very unhappy with outcome…