Here’s a real unpopular opinion: I love Tom Wilson and he’s become one of my favorite players in the NHL. Is he dirty? Yes. Is his play a little too much sometimes? Yes. I understand why a lot of people hate him, but every team needs one player like him, especially in the new, soft NHL.
Obviously the most notorious part of Wilson’s play is his physicality. He’s been suspended 4 different times for late or dirty hits. He has made the entire Washington Capital fan base fall in love with him because he is unique to today’s game. He is physical, which isn’t always easy to find in the NHL. But on top of that, he can play hockey, and play it well.
What separates Wilson from the rest of the “enforcers” left in the NHL is that he is skilled in many other ways, which is why he was drafted 16thoverall in 2012. He is still 24 and is becoming one of the better power forwards in the NHL. He’s very skilled in forechecking and backchecking, which makes him valuable as a defensive player to add to his physicality.
On the offensive side, he has a pretty good shot. He isn’t the fastest skater, but he skated well enough to play on the first line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov throughout the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Wilson is also very good at getting in front of the net and screening the goalie. His offensive skillset is improving at an alarming rate and it has been noticed this season.
Tom Wilson is a player every team needs. I would love someone like him on the Blackhawks, those players are the fan favorites. Players who can be physical and play a solid 200-foot game are very hard to find nowadays. Hate him or love him, every team in the NHL would benefit from having Tom Wilson.