2009-10: Split his first professional season between Nashville (35 games) and Milwaukee (40 games)… Started the season with Nashville, posting two points (1g-1a) in his first 10 career games, then notched 13 points (7g-6a) in 25 games during his first career recall from Feb. 9 through the end of the season, including eight points (4g-4a) in an eight-game span from March 7-20… Three of his eight goals were game winners… Notched the first multi-point game of his career on March 9 at San Jose (1g-1a)… Scored his first career NHL goal on Oct. 21 at Boston and followed it up with his first career assist the following night at Ottawa… Became the fourth-youngest player (19 years, 357 days) in franchise history upon making his NHL debut on Oct. 12 vs. Edmonton… Missed 11 NHL games due to injury… Tied for fourth among AHL rookies in points per game (minimum 20 games, .85) after posting 34 points (13g-21a) in 40 games… Notched 29 points (10g-19a) in his final 22 AHL games after posting five points (3g-2a) in his first 18 games… Named AHL Rookie of the Month for January after amassing 20 points (7g-13a) in 17 games during the month. PLAYOFFS: Appeared in all six of the club’s playoff games, posting his first career playoff point/assist in Game Six.
AMATEUR: The 2009 USA Hockey College Player of the Year, and the Inside College Hockey 2009 Player of the Year … One of three Hobey Baker “Hat Trick” Finalists in 2008-09 after finishing second in the nation in both points (55) and assists (38)… Helped BU win the 2009 NCAA National Championship… Named to the 2009 Frozen Four All-Tournament Team after posting five points (2g-3a) in four NCAA Tournament games… A 2009 First-Team East All-America selection and First-Team All-Hockey East … 2009 Hockey East Scoring Champion… Named Team USA’s Most Outstanding Player at the 2009 World Junior Championships after tying for eighth in the tournament, with nine points (3g-6a) in six games… The lone college player on Team USA at the 2009 World Championships in Switzerland… Became the fifth player in Boston University history to be named Hockey East Rookie of the Year in 2007-08 after posting 35 points (13g-22a) in 37 games… Tied for the goal-scoring lead at 2008 World Junior Championships and ranked second on Team USA in points… Played in both the 2006 and 2007 Under-18 World Championships, winning a gold medal in 2006 and tying for the tournament scoring lead (5g-7a), while leading Team USA to a silver medal, in 2007… Led the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program in assists (45) in 2006-07.
BACKGROUND: Nickname: “Willy”… His dad, Carey, played 12 seasons in the NHL for Calgary, Hartford and N.Y. Rangers and is now a doctor… His grandfather, Gerry, had a brief stint in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens and later was the Winnipeg Jets team doctor… Spends his off-seasons in Winnipeg, Manitoba… Favorites include Johnny Cash and Kings of Leon (musicians), Cancun, Mexico (vacation destination) and Jaromir Jagr (player growing up)… Lists Josef Stalin as the historical figure he would have most like to have met… Best friend in the NHL is Philadelphia’s James Van Riemsdyk… Single.
TRANSACTIONS: June 20, 2008 – Nashville's first choice, seventh overall (first round), in 2008 Entry Draft.