On March 16th, 1991, in Barrie Ontario Canada, Garrett Wilson was brought into this earth. Being born in Canada, a nation that loves hockey, Wilson was born with a stick in one hand and a puck in the other. Playing hockey came naturally to him. Growing up Wilson wanted to be a professional hockey player, although he isn’t in the NHL just yet, his path to the NHL has been a good one so far and at a young age he will continue to battle to eventually earn a spot on a NHL roster.
In 2007, Wilson played for the Tecumseh Chiefs, a junior hockey team in the OHL. Including the playoffs, Wilson played a total of 60 games with the Chiefs, while scoring a total of 58 points. Although he was very young at the time, he was able to conduct himself in a great manor and played excellently throughout his first go around in the playoffs.
Before the end of the 07-08 OHL season, Wilson played for the Windsor Spitfires. In seven total games, Wilson was only able to score a single point. After a little taste of what the OHL was like, Wilson came back next season with the intent to significantly improve his play. The following season, he began his full-time OHL career with the Owen Sound Attack. In his first year with the Sound Attack, Wilson showed a lot of potential, as he was able to score 17 goals and 18 assist. With his much improved play, Wilson continued to push hard into next season.
The following season the youngster continued to show off his talents to the world. In fact, in his second full season in the OHL, Wilson nearly doubled his point total from the previous season, scoring a total of 61 points compared to his previous total of 35.
His play over the past two years was good enough him drafted by a NHL team in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The team was our very own, Florida Panthers. His goal to play in the NHL was at the palm of his fingertips, and with him being drafted by a NHL team, he was in control of his own destiny.
Coming into the 2010-2011 OHL season, Wilson knew that just because he was drafted, didn’t mean he can just cruise into the season. At the time he was 19. At 19 years old he was already building a great attitude towards the professional level of ice hockey. The 2010-2011 season was his year. He opened the season strong and showed everyone why he was drafted. Now the captain of the Sound Attack took over the team scoring a remarkable 86 points, with 40 of the points being goals.
After his OHL career came to a close, Wilson took his talents to the ECHL, playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones . In his first year his numbers dropped dramatically as he was only able to score a total of 35 points. During the season in the ECHL, he scored the same exact scoring numbers he did during his first year with the Sound Attack; however he did in ten extra games.
Despite his drop in numbers, Panthers assistant general manager Mike Santos announced the signing of Garrett Wilson to an entry level two-way three year pro contract. For Wilson, he was living the life; his dream of being a NHL hockey player was now getting closer.
After playing a season with the Cyclones, Wilson got the call from the San Antonio Rampage, the top AHL affiliate for the Florida Panthers. In a total of 11 games with the Rampage, Wilson only scored one point. Even though his production was low in his short time with San Antonio, Wilson is poised to bounce back and have a tremendous year next season.
With hard work and dedication, Wilson’s dream to play on a NHL roster will definitely come. Wilson is only 21 years old and he is a great prospect in a really deep group for the Florida Panthers. Eventually his dream will come true; however it is all based on whether he continues to show that he wants it. After a fantastic OHL career and a decent ECHL career, Wilson will now look towards the future, while hoping to make a name for himself with the Rampage.
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