#23 / Left Wing/ Pittsburgh Penguins
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 183 | Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Oakville, ON, Canada | Drafted: 209th, 2011 (Pittsburgh)
Assets: Thinks the game well and has solid playmaking ability, especially at lower levels. Has plenty of versatility in his game, which adds value.
Flaws: Does not have ideal size (5-11) for a National Hockey League forward, so he needs to get bigger and stronger to better avoid injuries.
Career Potential: Solid, versatile forward with a little upside. (via The Hockey News)
Career 40-Game Rolling Five-on-Five CF% (via Corsica)
2016-2017 Usage Chart (via Corsica)
Why you should know who he is: You may remember the “HBK Line” of the Penguins last year, that speedy threesome that ran roughshod over flat-footed Capitals defensemen until you wept. Carl Hagelin is still out of the Pens’ lineup, but Wilson has stepped into the new version of that line, along with Patric Hornqvist and Nick Bonino (the original “B” in HBK).
Wilson isn’t big. At under 6’0” and less than 200 lbs, don’t expect him to try and beat the Capitals with power. Watch for him on the wing feeding sneaky centering passes to a crashing Bonino, and using his speed to create space and open up the defense. Will it work? We’ll see: Wilson was a negative possession player at even strength this year, and with just eight goals all season and one point in Pittsburgh’s five-game whoopin’ of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, Wilson (and the entire new third line) could be a matchup daydream for Eller, Burakovsky, and Wilson. Or a nightmare.
How the Caps can stop him: Frustrate him and shut him down, and he may not see the ice at all. Wilson saw the teams’ second-least average time-on-ice in the first round with just 11:27, and he doesn’t get deployed on special teams units. It seems feasible that if Washington could force head coach Mike Sullivan to shorten his bench, Wilson would be one of the first casualties. Look, let’s cut the noise: Scott Wilson is not the biggest threat the Penguins have, nor is he even in the conversation. But as Pittsburgh has shown (to devastating effect in the minds, tear ducts, and livers of Caps fans), they are very much a “next guy up” type of team. Don’t be surprised if Wilson surprises you.
Previously: Ron Hainsey