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Oates: Wilson has ‘conquered junior’ so won’t represent Canada

Dec 3, 2013, 3:58 PM EDT

tomwilsongetty Getty Images

Tom Wilson rarely plays more than 10 minutes in a single Washington Capitals game, but according to head coach Adam Oates, the big 19-year-old forward has nothing to gain from representing Canada at the upcoming World Juniors.

“For me, Willie’s an NHL player,” Oates said. “He’s conquered junior. Nothing against that tournament at all, [but] I think he’s moved past it.”

Wilson, not surprisingly, echoed his coach’s thoughts.

“It’s obviously a dream to play for your country but my priority is here in Washington,” Wilson said. “I think [the Capitals] had in mind what they wanted. I’m not really going to dwell on it.

“I’m wishing those guys the best and it’s going to be a great tournament, but I’m happy to be here.”

Wilson was drafted 16th overall by the Caps in 2012. He spent last season with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers, for whom he scored 58 points in 48 games.

But one thing he never got to do was play for Canada at the World Juniors; he was one of the last cuts from the 2013 team that finished a disappointing fourth in Russia.

“After I was cut, so many [NHL] alumni were tweeting at me saying, ‘Hey, listen. I got cut back in the day two or three times,'” Wilson said.

“That was a goal of mine when I got cut — to make them kind of almost want me that much more this year and not have me available and beg for me. There was a lot of motivation to do that.”


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  1. ibieiniid - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    is it just me or have you not conquered a tournament until you’ve won it?

    • jpelle82 - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      no kidding. i just wonder why management in washington feels like they have to keep talking about it. sounds like a lot of self-assuring speak. dont hear this stuff from other coaches and gm’s regarding their players.

  2. lowenni - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    I completely understand Oates’ and the Caps managements idea here, but I only partially agree with it. Physically, he has conquered the junior level and he has nothing to gain in that department. With that in mind, the Caps are right in this decision. What I think Wilson could gain from the tournament is spending time working on his offensive game, which hasn’t really developed for him in the NHL. Part of what makes him such an intriguing prospect is his fantastic mix of pure strength plus his offensive potential.

  3. bsaures - Dec 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Yes because his 4 points this year and the 7 mins a game he plays make him wayyy beyond all the players going to the world juniors

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