The Nashville Predators have a lot of clutch players in their 22-year history, and one of them has announced his retirement from the NHL.
There’s a group of players from Nashville Predators history that were instrumental in turning the franchise into an annual playoff team. Colin Wilson was one of those players.
After 11 seasons, 632 career regular season games and 113 career goals, Wilson has announced his retirement from the NHL:
Fans remember Wilson for being clutch in the playoffs and raising his level of play in critical situations. He scored 19 career game-winning goals for Nashville, including one in the postseason against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014-15.
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Wilson finishes his NHL postseason career with 33 points in 65 games, including 24 of those postseason points with Nashville.
That 2014-15 playoff series against the Blackhawks ended in six games for the defeated Predators as they were starting to build a Stanley Cup contending roster.
Wilson had an insane 26.3 shooting percentage in that series, including four power play goals and a heavy usage of almost 20 minutes of average ice time.
Everyone remembers “Playoff Colin” predominantly for that series, but he followed that up with a deeper playoff run for the Predators that saw him tally 13 points in 14 games and another large shooting percentage of over 19 percent.
His hockey journey
Wilson had a lot of pressure on him right out of the gate being drafted at the No.7 pick by the Predators in 2008. He quickly got to the NHL in 2009-10 after playing two seasons collegiately with Boston University and one season with the Milwaukee Admirals.
I can remember vividly how impressed I was with Wilson’s offensive game right at the start. He scored his first NHL goal in just his fifth career game, and would finish with eight goals in his rookie season.
Wilson would really take off in his second season by racking up 35 points and becoming a regular in the Predators lineup. Fans quickly started to realize how special he could be for the rising Predators who were finally being considered playoff contenders.
It was hard to see Wilson traded to the Colorado Avalanche following the 2016-17 season, which was the season the Predators went to the Stanley Cup Final.
Wilson never captured the same production with Colorado as he did with Nashville. The trade ended up working out for the Predators in the long run as they acquired a 2019 fourth-round draft pick.
With an extra fourth-round pick, the Predators chose current prospects Semyon Chistyakov and Marc Del Gaizo with their picks.
In the Predators first round series against the Avalanche in 2018, Wilson went against his former team. He never scored a goal against the Predators, but did register one assist in the series. He actually never scored a goal against the Predators in the regular season, either.
Wilson thanked his former teams in this statement, per the NHLPA website:
"“I would like to thank the game of hockey for the incredible experiences and amazing people I was exposed to along my path. It is very bittersweet to retire as I leave my childhood passion behind but look forward to what comes next.”"
Wilson ends an outstanding and respectable NHL career and we wish him well in his post-hockey life.