Encouraging news for the Washington Capitals was announced Wednesday morning, as forward, Tom Wilson participated in his first regular (full contact) practice of the season. Wilson was ruled out 6-8 months after suffering a torn ACL injury that took place all the way back on May 3rd in Game 1 of the first round against the Florida Panthers.
The 28 year old Toronto native took regular reps on the first line today at practice alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom as well as taking part in reps on the power play. Backstrom, like Wilson has just returned to practice in a full contact jersey just days prior after undergoing hip surgery in June.
Here were the lines at practice Wednesday morning:
Tom Wilson put up career high numbers in goals, assists, points and plus/minus last season, recording 24 goals and 28 assists for 52 points in 78 games as well as a solid plus 13 rating. Wilson’s career year also earned himself a spot in the NHL All-Star game, replacing Alex Ovechkin, who was ruled out due to COVID-19.
Wilson is expected to play a huge role for the Capitals when he returns; an energy guy who brings size and constant physicality back into the lineup. With constant injury issues surrounding the Capitals, having a player like Wilson back is a major stress reliever for this team. Head Coach, Peter Laviolette provided updates on multiple players, including Wilson after practice today. He called Wilson’s return to regular practice reps the “first steps” so it is still unclear when Wilson will make his season debut.
The Capitals who have been hot as of late, have posted a 7-2-1 record so far in the month of December. A Tom Wilson return ASAP would be a huge momentum booster for this team, who will try and replicate their recent success in the New Year.