Colin Wilson is probably closer to taking the ice in an NHL game than any of the other players in town for the Nashville Predators’ prospects conditioning camp.
Wednesday, the first day, those players took to the ice, however, the 2008 first-round draft pick was on the outside looking in – literally.
Wilson watched from the bench and the glass behind one of the nets as players were put through a 60-minute session, which followed an early-morning track workout at Vanderbilt. A delay in his medical clearance was the reason he was forced to watch.
“I was just waiting for some paperwork to come in, and it just came in so I’m good to go,” Wilson said as players began to leave the ice. “… I didn’t really know what was going on.”
Wilson, a Hobey Baker Award finalist, signed a pro contract in April, shortly after he helped Boston University to the 2009 NCAA championship. In May, he was the only college player named to the roster for Team USA at the World Championships.
When training camp opens in September he is expected to compete for a spot on the NHL roster.
At the start of this camp, though, all he could do was watch.
“It’s really frustrating,” he said. “I love going out to skate and it’s fun to see all the guys. I want to get out there, but I’ll be out there (Thursday).”
The next on-ice session for the prospects will be 10-11 a.m. Thursday, and their final one will be 9:45-10:45 a.m. Saturday – both at Centennial Sportsplex. Before the camp breaks, though, they also will have multiple weight training and track workouts, a yoga session and community appearances.
Wilson said he has no existing condition that would require additional scrutiny by the team’s medical staff but noted this is the second straight year his participation in the prospects camp was delayed for clerical reasons.
“It was the exact same thing (in 2008),” he said. “It just took a little longer for the doctor to get me cleared. I don’t know why. Obviously, it’s just liability issues so they didn’t want me out there skating, but (now) I’m good to go.”
That’s means Thursday, Predators’ fans and coaches will get a chance to see just how good he is.