Colorado Avalanche Colin Wilson Deserves Another Chance in Denver

Colin Wilson
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: Colin Wilson #22 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on February 09, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Avalanche 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The 2019-20 season was a lost one for the Colorado Avalanche’s Colin Wilson. The 30-year-old forward played in only nine games before suffering a lower-body injury. It is unclear if he will return in an Avalanche uniform at all. There is no hockey and free agents may hit the market normally in advance of the 2020-21 season. However,  Wilson should get at least one more season to prove this year was a fluke.

Colin Wilson Deserves Another Chance

Wilson scored just four points, all assists, this year before he went on injured reserve. Wilson’s first two seasons before 2019-20 were productive. He scored 18 goals and 45 points in 121 games. He has also been a below-average puck possession player; Wilson’s Corsi For percentage was lower than 50% in each of the first two years as an Av before starting strong this season. His career Corsi For is 51.1 so he has demonstrated he can control the puck; he just hasn’t with Colorado.

He was originally acquired in 2017 from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Wilson’s primary value comes as a defensive forward who can chip at least 20 points in a season. He has scored fewer than 20 points only three times in 11 seasons. He has contributed at least 40 hits and 20 blocks in six of his seasons as well. Wilson can be an effective two-way skater that also helps kill penalties. Injuries have limited his time with Colorado but he carries a cap hit of just $2.6 million. That is an acceptable price for someone with Wilson’s experience.

What is Wilson’s Future in Colorado

Wilson could take a pay cut and return as a veteran presence to prove he’s worth another deal after 2020-21 but Colorado is very deep right now. The farm system is strong with several prospects such as Logan O’Connor and Martin Kaut ready to take over as bottom-six wings. It is highly unlikely he returns in Avalanche uniform but so much is unknown right now.

The global pandemic has upset so much of what would be happening at this time of the season. Colorado might instead bring Wilson back on a cheap deal just to have his experience in place when hockey does resume. The injury prevented him from playing through his contract year but there’s no reason to think Wilson can’t come back and be productive on a very dangerous Avalanche squad the next time they hit the ice.

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