(Photo credit: Scott Paulus)
This concept was brought up in the comments section of another post, but I think it would be worth an entire post.
A Preds blogger had mentioned that it might be good for the Preds to swap out Wilson and Nick Spaling for Steve Begin and Jamie Lundmark.
I’ve presented the scenerio to some of the folks over at Ontheforecheck.com, and I’ll cherry pick some of their thoughts throughout this post.
Colin Wilson has two goals and four assists on the season so far, playing in 20 games. Obviously, expectations were higher for Wilson this year and one could look at that stat line and suggest that maybe he’s not ready yet. Seth Lake offers this summation of Wilson’s season so far.
“My thought was (and still largely is) that Wilson has been the most displaced player on the roster this season due to the injuries that have plagued our lineup. In the season opener he was on the wing with Lombardi at center and Erat on the wing. Within two games both of his linemates were out of the lineup with injuries and Wilson started to get shuffled as the other lines simply moved up and he slid backward. After Goc was injured, Wilson got switched to center where he was very inconsistent, then when Goc returned he was again moved back to wing until Legwand went down and he was yo-yo’d back and forth from shift to shift as Trotz tried to find some chemistry.”
In the last 12 games, Wilson has just one assist…November 3rd at Phoenix.
Now, last season, Wilson had two goals and two assists before a groin injury sidelined him after a Halloween game. Less than a month later, Wilson was sent to Milwaukee on an extended conditioning assignment. 40 games later, Wilson was almost a point per game, and was starting to play with the confidence that you’d expect from such an elite prospect. We watched the change right in front of us. He had points in 11 of his last 12 games in Milwaukee, and knew it was only a matter of time before he’d be recalled.
Would it be beneficial for his development to spend some more time in Milwaukee, getting minutes on a top line?
Seth thinks so.
“It’s a long term development and asset management issue more than anything else for me right now. I think Wilson’s not being as effective as he can be at the NHL level with limited minutes and not really having any consistency in his role from game to game and needs to get back to playing bigger minutes as a top-six forward to avoid stunting his development.
“Is it realistic to expect the Predators to make these moves? Probably not, but to me…I don’t see a real reason not to right now.”
Chris Burton, from OTF has a similar take.
“I think that the idea of swapping these players out is a good one, but unrealistic. Spaling will be sent down eventually, when Lombardi returns, but I don’t think Wilson goes anywhere. Would it help his game to center Klasen and Thuresson, or whoever? Most likely. The Predators are struggling right now, and so is Wilson – but Trotz isn’t putting him in a position to succeed. Nine minutes a game is NOT giving him the best opportunity. Maybe he’s not showing Trotz what he needs to see, but its impossible to do so alongside Spaling and Kostitsyn. Wilson is very much a top six forward. At any rate, I’d say there’s an outside possibility Wilson is demoted for Lundmark. Jamie would provide hustle and a “Swiss Army Knife” type ability, but in the end, nothing’s gonna happen.”
So Roundtable, what do you think? Obviously, from the Admirals perspective, we could use any kind of offensive jump-start possible right now. But from the Preds perspective, and from the perspective of Wilson’s long-term development, do you think this move would be beneficial or realistic?