The time is now for Tom Wilson.
Wilson, Washington’s first-round pick (16th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, will make his team and postseason debut tonight in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Rangers.
Head coach Adam Oates said Wilson will play on the fourth line with Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle, and hopes the 19-year-old will provide a “spark” to his club, which has lost two straight to New York.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Wilson racked up 58 points in 48 games with OHL Plymouth this season, then scored 17 in 12 playoff games before joining the Bears for the Calder Cup playoffs (Hersey was eliminated on Wednesday night).
Wilson participated with the Caps in their abbreviated training camp prior to the season, thoroughly impressing Oates with his style of play.
“He looked great out there,” Oates told the Washington Times in January. “He skated great, he looked like one of the guys and sometimes I didn’t realize it was him.”