A week ago, Capitals prospect Tom Wilson was soaking in his first NHL training camp experience; feeding captain Alex Ovechkin in 2-on-1 drills and earning praise from Caps management and coaches.
What a difference seven days makes.
Wilson was returned to the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League last Wednesday and he is now in hot water with the junior league regarding his actions in a game over the weekend.
In the Whalers’ 7-3 loss to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Saturday, Wilson received a five-minute major penalty for fighting, a five-minute major for cross checking and a game misconduct for the hit from behind.
The game misconduct and hit from behind have Wilson facing supplemental discipline from the OHL with a suspension expected Tuesday or Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound power forward did not play in Plymouth’s 7-1 win over Erie on Monday.
Physicality is a key part to Wilson’s game, but after leading the Whalers with 141 penalty minutes in 49 games last season, the Capitals’ 2012 first-round pick (16th overall) has made a conscious effort to play a more disciplined game moving forward.
“I talked to the Caps a little bit and back at junior, they wanted me to focus on developing my offensive game,” Wilson said last week.
“I mean I’m still playing hard and I’m still getting penalty minutes. They’re just not through the roof like last year. So I’m just working on my offensive game down at Plymouth. I mean if I have to stick up for my teammates, I will. But I’m just worrying about putting the puck in the net right now.”
In his first game back with Plymouth last Friday, Wilson was called for five minor penalties and finished with ten penalty minutes.
For those keeping track, in two games since rejoining his junior team, Wilson has been held without a point while collecting 20 penalty minutes, a game misconduct, and a likely suspension.
CONNOR CARRICK IMPRESSING:
While Wilson awaits a possible suspension, fellow Capitals prospect Connor Carrick (2012, fifth-round, 137th overall) continues to shine in Plymouth where his nine goals and 28 points in 45 games are tops on the team among defensemen.