April 9, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Q&A: Colin Wilson

by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Boston University sophomore Colin Wilson has a lot on his plate this weekend. The highest drafted college player last June, in the first round by Nashville, Wilson went on to lead BU in points this season. He is in the Hobey Hat Trick, and one of three contenders for the presitgious award, that will be announced Friday. And, of course, his team has a national semifinal Thursday against Vermont.

However, also, his dad, Carey Wilson, a former long-time NHL player, is unable to make it to Washington D.C. He is back at the family home in Manitoba, protecting it against the flooding on the Red River.

Wilson: There's a flood warning back in Winnipeg and we happen to live right on the river. So he has to stay back and sandbag a little.

CHN: How often does that kind of flooding occur there?

Wilson: It's generally every spring when the ice thaws. The Red River brings in all the flood waters from North Dakota. We've been in that place about four years, but every year we have to prepare.

CHN: Are there hopes he can make it Saturday if you win Thursday?

Wilson: I don't know. My parents have been saying to keep a ticket open. I don't know why. He might be making it out here and he's just been messing with me. But it's not a big deal. I've been living away from home four years and I'm used to playing in big games without him here. So I'm sure he'll be watching on TV.

CHN: How much did you learn about the game from him?

Wilson: A lot. He definitely taught me things. I'm starting to hear coaches at this level now say things I heard at eight (years old). He definitely helped me adapt to a more pro style and college style. He told me exactly what it's going to be like.

CHN: Can you pinpoint things he said that put you ahead of others kids that age?

Wilson: He always talked to me about positional play, and it's all about winning the little battles. And no coach ever said anything about winning the little battles until I hit the U.S. National Team. And as soon as I got there, that's all the coaches talked about. And I think that's what made me a high prospect for the NHL Draft — I make sure I win every battle.

CHN: Yeah, usually at that age, they just tell you to go score goals when you're that talented.

Wilson: Yeah, generally they tell you to put the puck between kids' skates and go score a pretty goal. But he was definitely teaching me things.

CHN: How much have you watched of your dad's playing days. (Carey Wilson scored 159 goals in 552 NHL games between 1983-93. He played in the 1986 Stanley Cup finals with Calgary.)

Wilson: I remember when I was 10 years old, we had (my) whole team over and the kids all wanted to see him play. Because an NHL player back home is like the president here. ... I remember watching it thinking he was a pretty good player in the NHL.

CHN: He had that college background. So did he encourage you to go to college, make you go to college, push you? How did it work?

Wilson: You can call it encouraging, pushing, whatever you want to call it. But he definitely gave me all the advantages of college hockey, and all the disadvantages of going to the CHL (Canadian Major Junior). So I kinda made my decision that, "Oh, college hockey must be the best thing ever, why would anyone want to go to the CHL?" So I would call it encouraging, but he definitely put me in the mindset that college hockey was the route to go."

CHN: You feel it was the right move?

Wilson: Oh yeah. Other than me, Jason Gregoire (at North Dakota), Jonathan Toews, there's very few of us that went to college. I talk to the guys back home now and they say, "You guys have a pretty good game."

CHN: The thing you hear — and we were just talking to the Flyers about this with regards to James van Riemsdyk — some teams want you to play more games. Do you think that's a big deal?

Wilson: I think that when people talk about that they generally talk about developing. They don't want a guy going to 82 games (in the schedule) and all of a sudden he's only playing in 30 becausee he's so tired. But I played with the national program where we played 70-somewhat games, and I loved that. That's what I thrived on and I loved having just hockey to worry about. But I like playing college hockey and the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. And a disadvantage is you don't get to play as many games. I would love to play more games. But that's just the way it is.

CHN: And you don't think it sets back development?

Wilson: No. I think you're getting 40-somewhat games that are more quality, as opposed to playing 70 against 16-year olds. So it's a different style of developing, but we've got great practices where you develop in. And I don't think it's slowed down players like Chris Drury.

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