The Capitals have signed first-round draft pick Tom Wilson to a three-year, 2.5 million entry-level contract, general manager George McPhee announced today.
Wilson will earn 832,500 at the NHL level and 70,000 at the AHL level, with bonuses. Last week the Caps signed first-round draft pick Filip Forsberg, taken 11th overall, to an identical deal.
Taken 16th overall in the 2012 NHL draft, Wilson is a 6-foot-4, 203-pound power forward who impressed the Capitals' scouts with his heavy body checks at least week's development camp.
"He is what we were looking for when we drafted him," McPhee said. "He's a big, strong kid who really competes.
"Boy, the first three or four shifts of the opening scrimmage I was worried that if he did that all week we'd have only two or three players left on the ice. We got him to settle down and protect everybody else for the rest of the week. We like him a lot. Great kid, great character and he's going to be a pretty effective player."
Forsberg is expected to play in Sweden next season, while Wilson is expected to return to the Plymoputh Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League.
"When they play is sort of up to them," McPhee said. "We're not going to put them in over their heads. We're going to develop them right.
"A guy like Wilson, we know he's big and strong and tough, but we really want to develop him to be a top player. Sometimes if you throw them into the NHL too early they become survivors.
"It's not about surviving, it's about developing and seeing what we can turn them into . We want Wilson to be a top-six guy; he'd be quite a package. Go back to junior, play a lot, kill penalties, get on the power play, score 25 or 30 goals and develop."
Wison, 17, entered the draft ranked 15th overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Last season he collected 27 points nine goals, 18 assists and 141 penalty minutes in 49 games with Plymouth and added 13 points seven goals, six assists in 13 OHL playoff games. The Toronto native was voted as the Best Body Checker in the OHLs 2012 Western Conference Coaches Poll and was a runner up for the Hardest Worker category.
He won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, posting three goals in five games. He also won gold with Team Ontario at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, recording one assist and six penalty minutes in four games.