Tom Wilson
Tom Wilson
25-Year-Old Right WingRW
Washington Capitals
2019 Fantasy Outlook
While he won't be confused for a Lady Byng Trophy candidate, Wilson is beginning to emerge from the shadow of his past controversies and becoming a valuable two-way winger for the Capitals - as evidenced by career highs in goals (22) and points (40) despite playing just 63 games last year. The 25-year-old winger was once a niche fantasy commodity for leagues that emphasized hits and PIMs, but his burgeoning role in the top six should give him broad enough fantasy appeal for standard leagues. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $31.02 million contract extension with the Capitals in July of 2018.
Fills empty cage
RWWashington Capitals
December 4, 2019
Wilson scored an empty-net goal, dished two hits, blocked two shots and fired two shots on goal in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Kings.
Wilson picked up a loose puck and sent it all the way down the ice to produce the final score. The winger is up to 11 goals, 20 points, 109 hits and 68 shots on goal through 30 contests.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
There are few players in the league more controversial than Wilson. An intriguing blend of underrated skill and eye-popping physical play enabled Wilson to climb the depth chart in 2017-18, moving from a third-line role player to a top-line power forward in the span of a few months. With a career-high 14 goals and 35 points in 78 games, the 24-year-old's only glaring weakness is a lack of self control. He was suspended three times for questionable hits last season. With a six-year, $31 million extension in hand, Wilson's growing skill set and increased role give him plenty of breakout potential in standard formats and even more value in the rare deep leagues that place a premium on hits and blocked shots.
Wilson's 2016-17 campaign bore a noticeable resemblance to his 2015-16 -- once again, he played all 82 games and scored exactly seven goals, this time on 95 shots (four fewer than the prior season), while averaging 12:56 of ice time (a one-second increase). His PIM and hit totals dipped a bit, but with 133 and 239, respectively, Wilson remained one of the NHL’s foremost bruisers. At only 23 years old, he appears poised to serve in that role for some time, but those hoping for an offensive breakout are probably in for disappointment -- he’s flashed good hands, but that just isn't his game. It also doesn't seem likely that he’s going to step up into a steady top-six role, and the Caps have been unwilling to use him on the power play. Consider any offense that you get out of him to be a bonus.
If your fantasy league counts PIM and hits, Wilson’s a great play, as his consistent third-line minutes in the nation’s capital allow him to rack up huge totals in both categories – his 163 PIM ranked third last season and his 253 hits were good for 10th. However, since making a more or less direct jump from juniors to the NHL three years ago, the big winger hasn’t provided much in the way of offense. His seven goals and 23 points last year represented career highs; if you’re looking on the bright side, that means he’s trending in the right direction, but it’s safe to say we’re still waiting for Wilson’s first-round draft pedigree to materialize. And we’re probably going to keep waiting – he’s not going to see top-six minutes or power-play time unless the Caps are beset by injuries, and he can only piggyback so much on Andre Burakovsky. But at just 22 years old, Wilson certainly has the upside to develop into a more well-rounded fantasy asset in the long run.
In just a couple short years, Wilson has become the de facto enforcer in the American capital. He’s one of the NHL’s fiercest hitters and better fighters, but there’s more to his game than just meathead minutes. Wilson was a first-round draft pick because he has decent hands and a willingness to go to the net to score goals. He has a shot to become a top-nine guy, but it will take remarkable dedication to keep the gloves on. If he can, you can start looking at the possibility of Wilson morphing into the next Troy Brouwer or Joel Ward. Otherwise, he’s a 20-point, 175-PIM pugilist.
The last time a burly 19-year-old kid became a fan favorite for the Capitals, his name was Alex Ovechkin. This time around, it could be Wilson. An offensively-gifted power forward in the junior ranks, it is safe to say that Wilson’s transition wasn’t as effortless as Ovechkin’s from an offensive production standpoint. Relegated to the role of enforcer, Wilson compiled an impressive 151 penalty minutes in his first season, finishing seventh in the NHL. However, his offensive numbers were far less impressive, and if he wants to do better than last season’s three goals and 10 points, he’ll likely need to find a way to stay out of the penalty box. Suffering a broken ankle in the offseason, Wilson’s place in the lineup to start the season is questionable. New coach Barry Trotz has made it clear he has high hopes for Wilson and the team will ensure his development is approached carefully, so it is possible he spends significant time at AHL Hershey honing his offensive skills. Latta possesses Milan Lucic-like upside in keeper leagues, but given the debate about his development track and his ankle injury, it’s difficult to justify drafting him in single-season leagues this season.
Wilson is as young as they come in the NHL. He saw three games last postseason at the ripe young age of 19. The Caps will test him during camp this offseason, seeing how well he matches up against larger and more experienced NHL players but the 6’ 4” 210 pound winger should be able to hold his own. Fantasy managers will want to keep an eye on Wilson’s status as their draft approaches since power forwards with offensive upside are always in demand. He is well worth a long look in keeper leagues but he is several years away from the NHL.
More Fantasy News
Nabs empty-netter
RWWashington Capitals
November 18, 2019
Wilson scored an empty-net goal and had four shots with five hits in Monday's 5-2 win over Anaheim.
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Logs assist in loss
RWWashington Capitals
November 15, 2019
Wilson posted an assist and five hits in Friday's 5-2 loss to the Canadiens.
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OT winner caps two-goal night
RWWashington Capitals
November 7, 2019
Wilson potted the tying and winning goals in Thursday's 5-4 overtime win over Florida.
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Power-play producer
RWWashington Capitals
November 3, 2019
Wilson finished Sunday's 4-2 win versus Calgary with two assists, one coming on a power play.
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Puts up three points
RWWashington Capitals
November 1, 2019
Wilson scored a goal and dished out two assists in Friday's 6-1 win over Buffalo. He also added five hits.
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