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2016-17 Rink Wrap: Tom Wilson

From Alzner to Winnik, we're taking a look at and grading the 2016-17 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2017-18. Next up, Tom Wilson.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version; data via, and Cap Friendly):

Wilson's Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Wilson and His Linemates (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Wilson's 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Wilson's 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Wilson's With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Wilson's Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Wilson's Four Seasons (via

Wilson’s Goals Against Replacement (GAR) Components (chart by @ChartingHockey, data by @DTMAboutHeart, explained here, Tableau here):

Wilson's HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Key Stat: Tom Wilson started 59.5 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone. Prior to this season, Wilson never started more than 50 percent in the defensive zone.

Interesting Stat: Wilson had three goals in the playoffs. It took Wilson 72 regular season games to score his first three goals of his career.

The Good: While the points still haven’t been able to pile up for Wilson, who at 23 completed his fourth full season already, the Capitals saw glimpses of the player the team envisioned when they selected him with the 16th-overall pick in 2012.

Wilson was able to establish himself as a defensive weapon this season, playing the majority of his shifts in the defensive zone. Wilson also played a significant role in the team’s penalty kill, generally serving on the second unit alongside Lars Eller. Wilson’s 166:33 minutes shorthanded was the fourth-most among forwards on the team, and the most minutes in an individual season for Wilson. The Capitals penalty kill ranked seventh in the league this season with an 83.8 percent success rate.

It’s not measurable, but Wilson cares about the Capitals organization a lot. It was exemplified in the playoffs with an epic shift in which Wilson saved a goal and immediately followed it with a goal of his own in the series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His three total goals further played that. With the Capitals bottom six playing a crucial role in the possibility of success within the playoffs, Wilson was the only player that truly elevated his game.

The Bad: Since coming into the league, Wilson has been given ten hours and 19 minutes worth of penalty minutes. Those 619 career minutes is the most penalty minutes in that four-year span of any player in the NHL.

Wilson’s 166 penalty minutes this season was a drop from last year, but what’s troubling is that Wilson’s fighting majors are down, and much of those penalty minutes are due to silly misplays or mistakes on Wilson’s part. Within his first two seasons, Wilson dropped the gloves 26 times. This year, he fought just nine times.

It has also become apparent that Wilson may never become a valuable offensive power forward. While we did see glimpses of his offensive abilities in the playoffs, he simply doesn’t seem to be able to perform that way consistently. That’s in part because of his fourth line role within the team, but Wilson hasn’t proven that he is capable of producing in a top-six role.

The Video:

The Vote: Rate Wilson below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Discussion: Can Wilson become one of the better defensive wings in the NHL? Was his playoff run a sign of things to come? What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?


How do you rate Tom Wilson’s 2016-17 season?

This poll is closed

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171 votes total Vote Now