Wilson Focusing On Elevating His Game

Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 2:30 PM / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen
Colin Wilson has experienced a little bit of everything in his first 126 NHL games.

The highly-talented Nashville Predators forward has experienced ups and downs, highlights and frustrations. It is a typical situation for a young and upcoming offensive force. But Wilson isn’t making excuses for the slower-than-expected progress.

Wilson, who turns 22 on Oct. 22, has a couple of simple goals as he works his way through training camp this season: go all out and keep his skill level high.

“I’m just trying to have a little more effort out there,” Wilson said. “I want to be consistent all the way through camp. That is what I’m really concentrating on. I know what to expect because I’ve been in two of them before. So now I’m pretty well adjusted to the scene here. I’m trying to play my game and do better than last year.”

Wilson came out with abandon during Nashville’s first preseason game of the year. In Game One of a doubleheader at Florida on Monday, Wilson scored a goal and added two assists during the Predators’ 5-3 victory.

Wilson has been a work in progress for the Predators coaching staff since he entered the NHL. After getting his feet under him and playing in 35 regular season games and six playoff games in 2009-10, more was expected from Wilson when 2010-11 got underway. He played in 82 games last season and was mostly solid, but when the Stanley Cup Playoffs arrived, the coaching staff decided to sit him in the first round against Anaheim.

“We challenged him,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. “He had some growth to go through last year. He was in a situation where his play fell off at the back end of the season. Once we started getting people back, I pulled him out (of the lineup). I think it was a little bit of a hard lesson for him, but I think he’s taken it as a challenge.”

The coaching staff liked the way Wilson responded. Wilson kept up his routine of being the first player on the ice during practices and kept his work ethic high. It earned him playing time in three games in the second round against Vancouver.

“You saw when he came back in the lineup, he was very determined that it wasn’t going to happen again,” Trotz said.

Wilson, who is a solid 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, said he is attempting to round out his game while using his strength as an advantage.

“I want to get better with everything,” Wilson said. “I want to be better in the D zone. I feel like I’m getting better at that. In the offensive zone, I’m trying to create more space for myself and turn myself into that power forward, leaning on guys and beating them wide. I’m just trying to develop my all around game.”

Helping his development this year is not worrying about pressing too much in training camp to make an impression. This is his third camp and he knows how it works, what coaches look for, and that he is an advantageous position since training-camp nerves are no longer a factor.

The coaching staff has been impressed so far in 2011-12 but wants to see more. Mainly because they know Wilson has only scratched the surface of his talent level.

“I think he’s had a real good summer in terms of trying to do what we’ve asked him to do,” Trotz said. “His effort level is very good right now. He sometimes tries some things when needs to use people a little bit better, because he’s trying so hard. I just want him to relax, have fun playing and use his instinctive skills, which he has. He’s a big body. We expect him to be a producing player for us, no question.”

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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