Who is this guy?
Scott Wilson is a 5'11" 184lbs Center from Oakville, Ontario who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 7th round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
What are they saying about him?
Wilson has been noted primarily for his offensive abilities, equally skilled when it come to shooting and setting up his teammates. He has also been regarded for his high hockey IQ and vision, and has been working on his versatility, able to play in any situation that he is needed. As a draft prospect, Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting Randy Sexton said he had "Speed, tenacious, good skills, plays hard and in your face. He’s a power-play, penalty kill guy, good all around." Other fans that have regularly watched him in the NCAA have noted that he is a total-package player, solid in his own end, and with offensive skills that are amongst the best in the NCAA.
UMass Lowell coach Norm Bazin said. "He's someone that can make a play at a crucial time," and UMass Lowell junior Josh Holmstrom said "He's one of those guys that makes the other guys around him better. He's a special player." And our very own Assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald said of him "Scott's a heady player who can play any forward position. He plays the power play, kills penalties. He's not very big (6-foot, 173), but he plays like he's 6-4. He's not afraid to take on bigger kids. Guys don't understand hitting. Scott does."
That is one of the biggest critiques against him is his small stature which is a tad undersized for NHL standards. And while he is quite good for a raw prospect, he is a long term project that particularly needs to focus on improving play in his own end since he already has his offensive game down pat. And finally his skating, while not bad enough to hold him back, certainly doesn't stack up with the speed and agility of the Penguins top scorers. He was one of the standouts in Prospect Development Camp, being the only player to beat Maguire, scoring on a penalty shot, during the scrimmage match.
Where has he been?
Wilson spent 2 full seasons playing for the Georgetown Raiders on the Ontario Junior A Hockey League (OJHL). During his rookie season he was already the 3rd highest scorer on his team and the league's 7th leading scorer during the playoffs, and continued that success as one of the best players on the team the following season.
After being drafted he joined the NCAA playing for the UMass-Lowell River Hawks. As a freshman he was 2nd on his team in both Goals and Points, winning the Hockey East and New England Rookie of the Year awards and being named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, all while helping take his team into the Regional Finals of the NCAA tournament. Then last year he started off slow but finished strong as his team's leading scorer, tied separately for both Goals and Points, finishing as the Hockey East Champions and taking his team all the way to the Frozen Four.
When can we expect to see him?
Wilson is only 21 and will be returning for his Junior season of college this fall, so expect him to finish out the next 2 seasons so he can graduate before turning pro. He may have the potential to be a Top 6 scorer in the NHL, but it will be quite some time before we figure out whether or not he will pan out. Expect him to spend at least a year in the AHL after graduation, possibly even longer.
Why is he #22?
Wilson received 1 vote for 11th, 1 vote for 16th, 1 vote for 17th, 1 vote for 21st, 1 vote for 22nd, and 4 omitted him from the Top 25.
How can he climb the list?
Wilson has been the best player on his team, one of the Top 30 in the NCAA, won awards, won league Championships, and appeared on the national stage at the Frozen Four. Yet even then most Pittsburgh fans barely know he exists. So the only way he can climb the list is to keep on track to be a top offensive prospect. As mentioned above, increasing his strength and bulking up would certainly improve his chances of making a splash in the NHL, as would improving his skating and continuing to develop his play in his own end of the ice.