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Wilson Focusing On Elevating His Game

Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 1:30 PM CT / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen
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Wilson Focusing On Elevating His Game
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.”

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33