The mystery of whether Colin Wilson would start in Milwaukee or Nashville was answered today with the announcement that Wilson would indeed make his NHL debut against the Oilers tonight at the Sommet Center.
Fellow writer Rachel was giddy after the surprise announcement that Colin Wilson would play his first NHL game on Monday. Big Kev was also ready to see Wilson play. Jackson is beside himself waiting to get picked up to go to the game.
Here is a story and video that we did back in May when Colin Wilson had just returned from the World Championships and came to Nashville for the first time as a pro. I was saving it for next week's "best of" series but this seems like a better time to rerun it.
My ending line of "Welcome to Nashville Colin! You will be a fan favorite." has already proven true.
Colin Wilson Comes to Music City
Colin Wilson, the Nashville Predator’s Top Prospect, made his Music City debut Sunday when he met with the local press and signed autographs for three hours for fans that were anxious to get a look at the youngster.
The 19 year old Center, who hails from Greenwich, CT, had a tremendous season this year. At Boston University, he finished second in the Hobey Baker voting (College Player of the Year) as he led the team in points (55) and assists (38) on the way to BU winning the NCAA National Championship.
Over the last few weeks, Wilson was the only non-NHL level player on the Team USA team that played in the World Championship Tournament in Switzerland. Earlier this year he played for the US Junior team at the World Junior tournament where he was named the Most Outstanding Player.
Wilson used his experience at the World Championships to see a faster game that made him realize what needed to be done to play on the NHL level. Wilson explained, “I learned there are certain parts of my game I’m going to have to work on if I want to be on the Predators and make an impact with the team.”
He gave Team USA and Predator teammate Ryan Suter credit for coaching him on many things while in Switzerland. “You have to learn a few things before going into training camp, how to be a pro, how to handle yourself off of the ice. I definitely learned that and more for off of the ice.”
Apart from the formal interview, we met an incredibly nice young man, fresh off the college campus that would be any parent's dream to have as a son. He is very polite and well spoken and will be adored by the Predator fans once he comes to Nashville for good, which may be sooner than you might think.
At the press conference, we got to witness a couple of really neat things. Prior to the interview Colin Wilson was given his first real Predator jersey with his name and number 33 sewn on the back. The jersey that he was given at the draft was a Velcro model so names could have been interchanged depending on who was taken in the draft.
The second thing that really says a lot about Wilson's character was that after the presser, he saw my son, Jackson, standing behind the rest of the crowd and Wilson walked over to Jackson and introduced himself.
On the surface, it doesn't seem like a big thing, but many kids his age, both in and out of sports, do not have the manners and courtesy to even notice that there was someone in a group of ten or so folks to whom he had not been introduced.
Colin Wilson is the prototype individual that a franchise can build a team around. He is a winner both on and off the ice.
Welcome to Nashville Colin! You will be a fan favorite.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass and The Columbia Daily Herald