Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson is adding All-Star selection to his resume this season.
The 27-year-old will be heading to Las Vegas to replace Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin at the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend. Ovechkin tested positive for COVID-19 earlier on Wednesday and entered protocol. He will not only miss the weekend’s festivities but Washington’s final game before the break against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
Wilson would join Evgeny Kuznetsov as the other Capitals representative for the Metropolitan Division team. Meanwhile, Claude Giroux will replace Ovechkin as the Metro Division captain.
This would be the first-ever All-Star Weekend for No. 43, who was part of the fan vote earlier in the season after an impressive start, which saw him lead the NHL in assists for a spell. Wilson has 13 goals and 31 points through 42 games this season and is on pace for a career-high 58 points this season.
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He has been a vital part of the Capitals top-6, mainly skating on the top line with Ovechkin and Kuznetsov, while also taking on more responsibility as an alternate captain this season with a number of players out.
“I want to score goals, I want to be a leader. I want to take on more responsibility and get our team to the playoffs and hopefully more,” the 6-4, 220-pound forward said with regard to his role before the season started.
Head coach Peter Laviolette also said that he has seen Wilson expand his skillset and evolution and that he is the “engine on the car.”
“He’s somebody that I trust at the end of the game. Either way we got to win it or we’re trying to hold on to win it,” Laviolette added. “I think he handles all of that. I think his leadership in the room continues to grow. And so all of that was there and I think it’s continued on this year.”