There are not too many players in the NHL who get to play on a better line than the one Tom Wilson skates with.
Although Wilson plays an important role on Washington’s top line, he’s the first to admit how lucky he is to line up next to two of the game’s greats in Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
“Those are two of the best players in the world in their craft,” the rugged winger said of his teammates. “I’m pretty privileged to play with those guys.”
Evident by last post-season’s unbelievable success, Ovechkin and Kuznetsov have unparalleled offensive chemistry. They’re also both Russian, which can make things tricky for Wilson.
“You definitely get more comfortable with them. The first little bit, you know, they’re talking in Russian. And you get more comfortable going up and asking them what’s going on? What are we doing?” Wilson said. “It’s a funny element from that perspective. You’re never going to hear me complain about my linemates.”
Despite the occasional language barrier, Wilson believes the line is so successful — they led all lines in playoff scoring — due to the complimentary skills each player brings to the ice.
“There is definitely an element of all-around game, complimenting each other, every player has their things that they’re really good at, things that they’re maybe, not so good at,” he pointed out. “And that’s what makes a good line.”
So although Wilson may not produce the flashy highlight-reel plays, there are two other players on his line who do more than their fair share. And that’s just fine for the fiery 24-year-old. He’s carved out his own role and has a Stanley Cup championship and a shiny new contract to show for it.
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