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Caps warn Tom Wilson about developing lazy habits

Jul 14, 2013, 9:34 PM EDT

tomwilsongetty Getty Images

Washington Capitals prospect Tom Wilson got a taste of the big time when he played three playoff games in 2013 – you may recall his broken skate incident – but it seems like the large forward is still something of a project.

Many believe that the team drafted him 16th overall in 2012 because of his 6-foot-4 frame, but even so, head coach Adam Oates expressed concern to the Washington Post that Wilson would rely on his size alone.

“Where he plays he’s such a big man, the one thing that we don’t want is for him to get in lazy habits because he dwarfs everybody over there [in the OHL],” Oates said. “I mentioned Troy Brouwer’s stick – he’s a big man like him and he’s figured it out — so just experiment with it and try to maximize a little bit more.”

While the 19-year-old’s size should still be an asset, there are plenty of big defensemen in the NHL, so Oates believes that Wilson needs to do more than bull his way through competition – whether he joins the big club full-time next season or not.

“It’s very difficult. Not trying to compare but a little bit like Eric Lindros, he was so much bigger than everybody in junior he was just cruising around out there,” Oates said. “Tom has that capability, although everyone’s getting a little bigger. We want to make sure he’s on track and any little habit that can help will be great.”

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