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He added another nine in 12 playoff games.

Goals will come. The feistiness and the respect it brings are already there.

When teammate Jack Hillen was injured on a hard (but clean) hit in the Caps’ home opener, Wilson immediately went after Calgary’s Lance Bouma.

“His teammates gain a lot of respect for a guy who’s willing to do that,” Oleksy said.

Said Oates, “I really love his energy and his size out there, and his willingness to hit, finish, create some opportunities. He’s still learning.”

Wilson wants to develop to where he can skate with one of the top two lines, a reasonable goal although unlikely to happen this season. In the meantime, he’ll continue to do what he can do.

The Caps may not have considered him as a possible replacement for Hendricks and he hasn’t been around long enough to bring the gravitas Hendricks brought. So call him, for now, a poor man’s Hendricks. Or a future Lucic.

Whatever, the Caps need it.

“It is important to have an energy guy who is willing to stand up for teammates,” Wilson said. “I don’t think I’m out there looking for fights. I want to use my physical play, protect the puck, get momentum.

“When you play the role of that physicality and hitting guys, it draws attention to you and guys want to respond to it … I’m not going to back down.”