By Ben Raby
It may be the middle of August, but dont try telling Washington Capitals prospect Tom Wilson that there isnt any meaningful hockey being played.
The Capitals first-round pick (16th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft was one of 56 junior-aged players to take part in the Canada-Russia Hockey Challenge- a four-game series which ended Tuesday in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Wilson played for Team Canada in all four games and was used primarily as the teams fourth line right winger. The 6-foot-3, 205 pound power forward was held pointless in the series and finished with six penalty minutes.
The teams split Games 1 and 2 in Yaroslavl, Russia last week, before splitting Games 3 and 4 in Halifax on Monday and Tuesday. With Canada winning Game 4 to even the series at two games apiece, the teams played a sudden death overtime period to determine the series winner. Toronto native Ryan Strome (New York Islanders, 1st round, 5th overall, 2011) netted the overtime winner to clinch the series for Team Canada.
Soon after the Canadian win, Wilson shared his excitement on Twitter: Wow!! What a game by the boys and series winner by Ryan Strome @strome18. CanadianPride 40 Years.
The 40 years is a reference to the 1972 (eight-game) Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union. This years Canada-Russia Challenge celebrated the 40th anniversary of one of hockeys greatest matchups.
Wilson will soon return to Plymouth, Michigan, for the start of training camp with his Ontario Hockey League club team. The Plymouth Whalers open preseason play Sept. 1 with the regular-season to set to begin three weeks later.
Wilsons participation in the Canada-Russia Challenge also bodes well for his chances of representing Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.