- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Caps’ Wilson off to another pointed start
VANCOUVER, British Columbia | A flashy debut is nothing new for Kyle Wilson.
He hopes what follows is just as impressive.
Wilson had two assists and nearly added a goal or two in his first NHL game Tuesday night in a 6-1 win for the Washington Capitals. It wasn’t unlike his first game for the Hershey Bears.
He had two points - both goals - in that game as well.
“It was the same type of thing - you go to the right spots and sometimes you get bounces and sometimes you don’t,” Wilson said. “That was a time where I got the bounces and I was able to take a hold of it.”
Wilson’s professional career came from humble beginnings. He was drafted by Minnesota in 2004 - in the ninth round, 273 picks after the Caps snagged Alex Ovechkin.
That was after his sophomore season at Colgate. Two years passed, including a 23-goal, 41-point senior campaign, but the Wild decided to pass on signing Wilson. He latched on with the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League but was cut loose after seven uneventful games.
He signed with Hershey and was immediately shipped to South Carolina of the ECHL. But then the Bears had some injuries, and he got his chance. Not only did he stick around, he has become a key figure for the AHL powerhouse. Three-plus seasons and 91 AHL goals later, Wilson is in the big leagues.
“I’m impressed that he kept going and didn’t quit,” Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I remember the conversation well when [general manager George McPhee] asked if I thought he should be put on an NHL contract, and I said I think he has a chance.
“He does a lot of good things, and it is determination when you don’t get the opportunity at the beginning, and there was an awful lot of centermen in our organization who come up before him in the past couple of years.”
The waiting wasn’t always easy for Wilson. After a 24-goal debut with the Bears, he continued to post solid numbers each of the past two seasons. Each time the Caps needed a forward - and there were many - Wilson was passed over.
Still, the Oakville, Ontario, native pressed on and waited for his big break.
“You always have points along the way where you question what the future holds,” Wilson said. “Along the way you just end up getting opportunities and you have to take advantage of them.”
Wilson’s NHL career is off to quite a start. He had an assist on his first shift Tuesday night and scoring chances on each of the next two before adding another assist later in the contest.
That the game took place at Pepsi Center also had extra meaning. Joe Sakic was Wilson’s favorite player as a kid, and Sakic’s jersey number hangs from the rafters in Denver after the center’s brilliant career with Quebec and Colorado.
“It just adds a little bit to the experience,” Wilson said. “I heard they have a little shrine to him in their dressing room. That would have been nice to see, but growing up I loved him. I was always a small guy too with the skill. It was definitely a great building to have my first game in.”
Wilson is not the first center to come up from Hershey and excel in the short term. First Keith Aucoin and then Mathieu Perreault had fast starts, but both are back with the Bears.
“He made the most of [the opportunity] the first game,” Boudreau said. “But as we all know with young guys - and I know from way too much personal experience - you have to keep it going, keep it going until the upper management says, ‘Hey, this guy can play.’ ”
About the Author
- The Capitals' Cup full of dreams
- Capitals' Green left off Canada's roster
- Capitals' new addition brings energy
- Capitals trade their captain to Columbus
- Disastrous first period dooms Capitals
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow