2010 draft pick Jason Wilson today signed with the Rangers. Wilson signed following a very successful season with the Niagara Ice Dogs in the OHL. Not just thanks to a deep playoff run but also personally (statistically), it was a successful year for Wilson. Wilson registered 18 goals and 25 assists for 43 points, along with 94 penalty minutes and an excellent plus-20 rating. He established career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, and plus/minus rating.
So what do we know about Wilson and what does it mean? Firstly winger Wilson turned a lot of heads in the Rangers training camp to begin this season. That may have been where the physical Wilson really became a legitimate prospect for the first time. Many wouldn’t have taken the 2010 5th rounder very seriously prior to camp given that he was an overage draft pick to begin with.
Wilson plays a physical style and best resembles Brandon Prust from the current crop of Rangers. Barring a spectacular pre season Wilson will begin next season with the CT Whale where he will have every chance to succeed, especially if several current Whale players (such as Brodie Dupont and Dale Weise) were to leave. Wilson, being slightly older than your average draftee turning pro, will provide the Whale with energy, physicality, a willingness to fight and also an ability to add offense. This season Wilson surprised many with what many people saw as unexpected offense. Perhaps most intriguingly, Wilson played some of his best hockey this year at the most important time of year – the playoffs. During Niagara’s extended playoff run Wilson grabbed 12 points in 14 games, helping to knock out – among others – Christian Thomas’s Oshawa Generals.
With the trade of Ethan Werek for Oscar Lindberg, the signing of Roman Horak and now the Jason Wilson signing, the Rangers have already made a few moves with an eye on the future. Horak, Lindberg and Wilson may all be suiting up next season in Connecticut, although Lindberg may well stay in the SEL. Either way, Glen Sather and the Rangers are keeping busy ahead of the draft. Wilson, at this stage looks to be another nice late draft addition.
Update 5:30 (Dave): Just got the press release, you can read it after the jump.