Wilson was one of the highest-scoring NHL defensemen of the 1980s and still is the Chicago Blackhawks leader among defensemen in goals (225), assists (554) and points (779). He won the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the League in 1981-82, when he was an NHL First-Team All-Star, played in the NHL All-Star Game seven times and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2020.
The Blackhawks selected Wilson with the No. 6 pick in the 1977 NHL Draft after he scored 79 points (25 goals, 54 assists) in 43 games with Ottawa of the Ontario Major Junior Hockey League, his hometown team, in 1976-77. He became an NHL regular as a rookie, finishing with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 77 games in 1977-78. He developed into a consistent offensive producer until enjoying a breakout season at age 24 in 1981-82.