PLYMOUTH – Plymouth Whalers President, General Manager and Head Coach Mike Vellucci announced the signing of 6'3, 190-pound forward Tom Wilson to an OHL contract and education package. Wilson was the Whalers 2nd round pick (27th overall) in the 2010 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
"I am a versatile player that can play every part of the game," stated Wilson, who tallied 44 goals and 61 assists for 105 points and 140 penalty minutes in 73 games last season for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. "I love to hit and hope to be able to make the players around me better."
"We feel he's the best power forward in his age group," Vellucci said. "We're looking forward to having him make a positive impact on our club and contribute right away."
Central Scouting described Wilson as “a big, physical winger who displays a real scoring touch around the net and has the potential to develop into a power forward at the next level. He has legitimate size and a great stick. The strength of his game is his ability to finish and put the puck in the net. He might not be the prettiest, but he could be one of the more natural finishers in this age group. He displays a real ability to put the puck in the net, and he really takes advantage of his chances.”
"It is one of the best feelings in the world to be able to sign a contract like this, especially with such a great organization," the 16-year-old Wilson explained. "It is a dream come true and I can't wait to start. The OHL is known as the best developmental league for young players and my family and I knew that going in. What we didn't realize was that the education support provided is exceptional and something that will allow me to pursue both education and hockey."
"We're happy Tom realized that playing in the OHL would allow him to develop his hockey skills for the NHL while continuing his education," Vellucci added.
A native of Toronto, Wilson will continue his education as a junior next year at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park.
Tom Wilson played for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens last season, but participated in the Whalers rookie camp in May as well as Team Ontario's Under-17 camp in July.
This marks the second signing for the Whalers in as many days as defenseman Max Iafrate, the Whalers first round selection, just signed. Fans can catch their first glimpse of Wilson, Iafrate, and their new teammates at the "Clash at the Coliseum" on September 4th when the Whalers take on the Windsor Spitfires during an exhibition game at the Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea, Michigan.
Wilson, who will wear #10 with the Whalers, will make his Compuware Arena debut during the Whalers home opener on Saturday, September 25th against the Barrie Colts at 7:05pm.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)