How the Capitals swooped up Tom Wilson from the Flyers on Draft night

Washington Capitals all star Tom Wilson could've gone to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals
Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Once upon a time it was the summer of 2012. "Call Me Maybe" was a hit song. Everyone started to begin owning an iPhone. Instagram began to take off. Over in Pittsburgh it was the NHL Draft and the Washington Capitals were on the clock. With the 16th pick the Caps took a player that would change the fortunes of both the team that hosted that draft and the Capitals themselves fortunes forever. That player was Tom Wilson.

The Penguins fans who filled the draft that day showered the Caps picks with boos and little did they know they would be booing Wilson for a long time.

Over in DC Tom Wilson became beloved. It was more than just the hits. It was more than the fights. It was more than, how radio voice John Walton described it six summers later, "girls love him, guys want to be him." He also has a heart of gold and gives back to the DC community.

But you don't need me to tell you that, just ask Washingtonian Magazine, as he was named among the 2023 Washingtonians of the Year.

But the crazy part was even though Wilson found a home here, he actually didn't think he was gettting drafted by the Caps that night. Wilson spoke on Monumental Sports Network's "Hometown with Rachel Nichols" (subscription required) about how the Flyers told Wilson and his agent that he wouldn't go past their first round selection at 21.

So basically Wilson entered the night thinking he would be in Philly. But the hockey god's like it when Caps and Pens fans don't agree so they couldn't allow that to happen. So one of them whispered over George McPhee's shoulder and the rest is history.

Fans in the DMV couldn't be happier to watch Wilson represent the Capitals this weekend at the All Star Game. And it's a good thing he'll be taking part of the festivities in Capitals red and not Flyers orange.