All week leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Thomas Wilson (RW)
Height: 6’4 Weight: 203 Shoots: Right
Team: Plymouth (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 15 among North American skaters
What kind of player is he?
An intimidating physical presence that also has top-six forward potential. In a Yahoo! interview with Neate Sager, Wilson said he models himself after Ryan Getzlaf; on NHL.com, he listed his favorite player as Milan Lucic. Both are examples of the type of player Wilson could develop into.
Wilson had 27 points and 141 penalty minutes in 49 games last season and, in a poll of the OHL’s Western Conference coaches, was selected as the “Best Body Checker” and finished in second place for the “Hardest Worker” title.
“Wilson is your prototypical power forward who makes good use of his size and his hands in the offensive zone. He played in a top-six role all season, skating alongside Richard Rackell and JT Miller; two 1st round picks of the 2011 draft. Wilson does all the little things well that lead to success and shows little hesitation to play physical or drop the gloves.
“His skating marked considerable improvement since the beginning of the year. A rash of injuries has limited his development as he has yet to play more than 50 games in an OHL season. Nonetheless he brings a dynamic that few players offer in this draft.” — David Burstyn, McKeen’s Hockey