During the Washington Capitals preseason opener, Hockey Night In Canada made a big freakin’ deal about Tom Wilson. The 2012 first-round pick is on the bubble for a roster spot, and CBC wanted us to know just how very hard this decision is going to be for Caps management.
In the first period, one of the CBC commentators brought up how when they talked Adam Oates before the game, the Caps head coach said that Wilson reminds him of retired Philadelphia Flyers pivot Eric Lindros.
Sideline reporter Cassie Campbell asked Wilson (without the HNIC towel!!) about the comparison during the second intermission.
“That’s huge,” Wilson said. “I think growing up that was my older brother’s favorite player and obviously [Lindros was] a well-respected guy in the hockey world and a big body. That’s a pretty big compliment.”
Wilson also explained what he thought he needs to do to make the team this season. “I think for me it’s just to play smart,” he explained. “I gotta know my role here. I’m coming in here being a third- or fourth-line guy. Unfortunately [my line] got a couple of minuses out there in the second period, but Beagle, Volpatti, and I are going to look to turn it back the other way in the third.”
In the third period, Wilson atoned, knocking over two Jets during his first shift on the ice. He almost scored on a deflection attempt.
The Caps rookie also knocked 205-pound Zach Redmond over like a bag of feathers.
“It’s nice coming back here,” Wilson said of returning to play at Yardmen Arena. “A lot of the guys haven’t even seen Belleville before. It’s nice to be back and play in front of some of the best fans in the OHL.”
And if Wilson keeps it up, he may get a chance to play in front of the best fans in the NHL too.