Tom Wilson is settling in with the Capitals quite well this preseason. He’s one of the few prospects with a stall in the main dressing room at the team’s practice facility in Arlington. He helps run warmup drills ahead of preseason contests. And he carries himself as a veteran who has been taking part in training camps for years not a rookie looking to make the jump to the NHL.
If Coach Adam Oates has his way Wilson will take that step this season.

“I like what I see in Willy enough that I would like to keep him around us but obviously that’s going to be George’s call” Oates said Tuesday night after the Baltimore Hockey Classic. “We’ll talk about it a lot. The one thing we definitely don’t want is to hurt his learning curve because he looks like he’s going to be a very good hockey player.”

Where Wilson 19 will play this season is the single biggest question the Capitals face in training camp. He’s not eligible to play in the American Hockey League because of his age agreement between the NHL and Canadian junior leagues so if Washington opts not to keep him Wilson must return to playing against his peers in the Ontario Hockey League.

There is every indication that Wilson listed at a whopping 6-4 217 pounds has progressed beyond dominating teenagers as a do-everything forward for the Plymouth Whalers. He can hold his own against NHL players as he proved in his three-game stint with the Capitals during last year’s playoffs and has looked confident through two preseason games.