Final Grade: Ryan Wilson

COLUMBUS OH - FEBRUARY 11: Ryan Wilson #44 of the Colorado Avalanche checks Derek Dorsett #15 of the Columbus Blue Jackets while chasing after the puck during the second period on February 11 2011 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

This report card is a joint effort by Beachie, Sandie, Paul, SlamDunktheFunk and DDC. Stats courtesy of and


Final Grade




Final Grade: B

Midseason Grade: B-

Last Year: B+

Position: D

Vitals: 6'1" / 207 lbs / Age 24 / Shoots L

Drafted by: Undrafted

Joined Avalanche: March 4th, 2009 with Lawrence Nicholat and 2nd round pick (Stefan Elliott) for Jordan Leopold

MHH Nicknames: Mack Truck


  • Foote 16gp 0g 4a 4pt Even
  • Shattenkirk 16gp 2g 3a 5pt -3
  • Johnson 13gp 0g 3a 3pt -5
  • O'Byrne 6gp 0g 1a 1pt -4
  • Liles 5gp 0g 0a 0pt +5
  • Hannan 4gp 0g 4a 4pt +2
  • 7th D 3gp 1g 0a 1pt +2
  • Quincey 2gp 0g 0a 0pt -3
  • Holos 1gp 0g 0a 0pt -1
  • Hunwick 1gp 0g 0a 0pt Even

Avs with Wilson in the lineup: 26-35-6 (.432 pt%) 2.79 GF 3.57 GA

Ice Time:

  • TTOI 19:48 (5th)
  • EV 16:35 (4th)
  • PK 2:25 (5th)
  • PP 0:47 (9th)



Career Highlights: Wilson set a new career high in games played (67) and tied his career best in goals (3)

Report: There was concern that Wilson wouldn't be the same after his concussion woes in 2009-2010. Even after cleared to play, he seemed to shy away from the big hits (although he wasn't afraid to drop the gloves a time or two.) Last season, however, saw the return of the Mack Truck hit. Even better, his defensive positioning was much improved, and he was simply smarter with the puck. There were times, especially when paired with Kevin Shattenkirk, when Wilson tried to do too much. He suddenly forgot he was a defensive d-man and started pinching in far too frequently, resulting in some odd man rushes going the other way. As the season wore on, though, he timed those plays better and was more successful. 2011-2012 could prove to be the start of some truly solid seasons for Wilson. He has shown that he can be a reliable guard on the blueline, and the improvements he's made in his overall game speak volumes of his character and potential. Mack Truck will never be a 1-2 guy, but he definitely can be the kind of player to help his team win the Cup -- especially if the road to it has Vancouver along the way. All he would have to do is look at the Sedins, and they'd fall down in a whimpering mess.

Fun Fact: The Flames got 25 games and 5 points out of the deadline deal for Wilson and the pick that became Stefan Elliott

The Ryan Wilson Drinking Game: Drink for the big hits  Drunk potential: Oh yeah

What We Said Last YearAnother young Avalanche defenseman with a boat load of potential, Ryan Wilson owned a mini break out of a season (and he was supposed to be leftovers in that trade for Leopold). He busted onto the scene dropping players with monster hits like Avs fans haven't seen's been too long.  

2010 Cap Hit: $551,666

2011 Status: RFA ($550,000 QO)

Outlook for Next Season: Wilson is one of three Avalanche restricted free agents who can bank on a nice raise this summer (the other two would be David Jones and Ryan O'Byrne). Wilson was a bargain last year, with the 3rd best ratio of hits per dollar among all defensemen last year (O'Byrne, by the way, was 9th). To get a gauge for his salary, I looked around for other defensemen with similar age / experience, offensive numbers (3-13-16) and hits (135) on non-entry level contracts. The two closest I could find were Nashville's Kevin Klein (26, 2-16-18, 128) who is making $1.35 million and former Avalanche Johnny Boychuk (27, 3-13-16, 117) at $1.875 million. Shall we split the difference and pencil in Wilson for $1.5 million?

Next Up: Matt Hunwick

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