Tom Wilson was invited, but he won’t be representing Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships.
On Monday, Washington GM George McPhee said his club will not allow its prized rookie to take leave for the Worlds, citing Wilson’s contributions to the Caps.
“He means too much to our team,” McPhee said, as per the Washington Post. “It’s best for his development to stay with the Capitals.”
Wilson, 19, was Washington’s first-round pick (16th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He made his big-league debut during last year’s playoffs — appearing in three games — and made the Caps out of training camp this year.
He’s been playing in mostly a bottom-six checking role for Washington, but has been a constant contributor. Wilson has appeared in all 27 games, scoring four points while averaging 7:10 TOI per game.
Wilson has never played for Canada at the World Juniors, but does have international experience from winning a gold medal with Team Ontario at the 2011 World U-17 Hockey Challenge,
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: