Wilson ‘means too much’ to Caps, not allowed to play at World Juniors

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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,