Nashville Predators: Time to Trade Colin Wilson

Fans react to the game tying goal by Nashville Predators Colin Wilson (33). Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Fans react to the game tying goal by Nashville Predators Colin Wilson (33). Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nashville Predators young winger is at his highest trade value.

The Nashville Predators drafted a young Colin Wilson with the 7th overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft and ever since Wilson has had high expectations set on him and his offensive abilities. Wilson has mostly shown inconsistency over his young career, but it’s always felt like he’s been underachieving on his true abilities. We all thought that he finally broke through in the 2014-15 season when he scored his career high 20 goals, but he fell short last season only scoring six goals.

Now the question becomes, is it too late for Colin Wilson? Will his time in Nashville come to a close or can he recreate his playoff magic and put it to use in the regular season? GM David Poile has an interesting decision to make on Wilson’s future and if it fits what The Nashville Predators want to do. After his 20 goal season Wilson signed a four-year $15.75 million deal with The Preds, and spent some time of his first season on that contract injured, and when he did play he didn’t make the same impact.

With three years left on his reasonable contract, Wilson could be an interesting trade chip if Poile feels like it is time to move on from the Wilson project. If you remember, Wilson was a part of a lot of trade rumors at the deadline including a possible swap for former Predator Scott Hartnell. The biggest question then and now is which Colin Wilson are we getting?

The past two seasons in the postseason, Wilson has been tremendously impressive. Because of that, he has been commonly nicknamed “Playoff Colin Wilson”. In the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs, Wilson scored five goals against the Chicago Blackhawks in six games, including four power play goals. Last season against Anaheim and San Jose Wilson scored 5 goals and 8 assists in 14 games,and most of those goals were in much-needed moments. Does that offset what he’s done in the regular season?

Following his rookie season of 8 goals and 7 assists in 35 games, Wilson provided some consistent point production. In 2010-11 he scored 16 goals, 18 assists, and 34 points in 82 games. In 2011-12 he followed up with 15 goals, 20 assists, and 35 points in 68 games. Skipping over the lockout year where no one had a great statistical season, Wilson put up 11 goals, 22 assists, and 33 points in 81 games in the 2013-14 year. And finally as mentioned before, Wilson had his career season in 2014-15 when he scored 20 goals, 22 assists, and

Nashville Predators
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

42 points in 77 games. So excluding last season Colin Wilson has put up fairly consistent numbers although he’s been streaky.

So why all the Colin Wilson trade talk? There are two big reasons. One is his play in the regular season last year. Eight goals and 18 assists in 68 games which was probably his worst season other than his rookie season and the lockout year. Wilson just signed a big deal after putting up career high numbers and has had a lot of expectations to contribute more and more in the seasons to follow. But the injury bug and goalies just weren’t gonna let him get his groove back until the postseason.

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Reason two would be his draft position expectation. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, Wilson was picked 7th overall in 2008, and most Top 10 picks have high expectations. Wilson wasn’t only picked at 7th, but The Nashville Predators traded up to grab him. After gathering picks from the Panthers trade for Tomas Vokoun, Nashville sent the 9th and 40th pick to the Islanders to jump to the 7th spot.

Before Peter Laviolette joined the Nashville Predators, they were coached only byBarry Trotz. Barry Trotz’s system focused on having a strong goaltender and defense, and holding on to a one-goal lead. By drafting Colin Wilson at seven, I’m sure David Poile’s goal was to get a pure goal scorer that could light the lamps up and relieve pressure on the defense. Even though Colin Wilson has provided scoring depth to this team I can’t say he’s lived up to a Top 10 pick expectations.

So what do you do with Colin Wilson? Even if Poile decides it’s time to send Wilson packing, can he get much in return after his slump year or did the playoffs increase his value? Will Wilson get taken by Vegas and is that more incentive to trade him so he doesn’t lose him for nothing? So many questions. My simple answer would be to give Colin Wilson this season to prove it was a one-year slump and that he can get back on track as that 20-goal scorer we know he is. I believe he’s talented enough to come back and improve even more.

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If The Nashville Predators feel like they could lose Wilson to Vegas in the Expansion Draft or if he stays in his slump then you can move him, but for now, I think it’s wise to keep Colin Wilson as a Nashville Predator.