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Wilson Set to Make NHL Debut Tonight

by Jena Smith / Nashville Predators
The Preds hit the ice for morning skate at the Sommet Center in preparation for tonight’s home game against the Edmonton Oliers. The story of the skate was rookie Colin Wilson. After another strong skate, the Preds 2008 first round pick is set to lace up the skates tonight for his first NHL game.

After having working through a groin injury in the preseason, the 19-year old is very eager to join his team once again.

“I’m excited. I think it will be nice to get back out there on the ice especially for a game,” Wilson stated after morning skate.

While it is not certain what line Wilson will be joining he joked that it would certainly not be the first or second, “but some where after that.” The coaches indicated that Wilson may open the game centering Joel Ward and Ryan Jones, but the combinations may rotate throughout the game.

Head Coach Barry Trotz has confidence in his rookie even though he;s missed so much of Training Camp. Trotz feels between Wilson’s youth and drive and how early in the season he will be fine.

“He kind of trying to catch a train, if you will, but he’s cleared to play. We don’t have a lot of practices coming up here. We are playing every second day so I think we will just put him in and hopefully work him in that way slowly. He has been working hard; he’s a mountain of a young man so I think he will get it done,” Trotz stated.

The advice from Coach to Wilson for his first game in the NHL was simply put, “Just relax and play, just play”.

Wilson is following this advice and plans on acting “like a pro”, not letting him self get too caught up in the moment. “I’m not going to get nervous or anything like that. To be a pro you can’t get too high you can’t get too low so I’m just going to be excited for the game.”

Wilson went on to explain what it means to him to have his first NHL appearance on home ice. “It means a lot. I wanted to start at home. I think that it is a little more exciting and it’s going to be fun. A little bit of anticipation.” Wilson went on to add “It will be fun with a little more cheering rather than booing with a visitor crowd.”

The coaches also set the goaltending rotation for this week’s games; Pekka Rinne will be in goal tonight and Thursday against Chicago and Dan Ellis will play Wednesday in Dallas and Saturday in Washington.

“I think when both goalies are playing well, I want to take the indecision out of them,” Trotz explained in reference to the goaltending situation. “I think it just clears the air. Get focused to be the best you can be for two games and the other guy is getting ready to be the best he can for two games and we are going to win this together.”

Trotz feels having the capability to use and depend on both goaltenders is what will help make a play-off team. “I think if you can’t get games and wins from your second goal tender you’re not going to make the playoffs, its plain and simple.”

As far as what the goaltenders think, Rinne doesn’t want to look too far into it.

“I don’t want to think about to far ahead I just want to concentrate on one game at a time. Personally, I just want to know who’s playing the next game it doesn’t matter after that. One game at a time.”

As far as those still injured, JP Dumont is skating and is thought to possibly be back in the line-up on Wednesday. Fellow forward Jordin Tootoo will likely start on-ice workouts tomorrow.

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