Whose To Say: Tom Wilson vs Ryan Reaves

Welcome back to another Whose To Say and this week we’re talking about some of the NHL’s toughest mother fuckers. This week it’s Tom Wilson vs Ryan Reaves.

It was a battle waiting to happen. Ryan Reaves vs Tom Wilson. Both of these players are known for their big hits and astounding fighting skills. The two have been known to but heads before, throwing a few punches and devastating hits at one another.

Let’s step back from the fights between Reaves and Wilson and compare these two NHL careers.

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson is a 25-year-old, right-winger for the Washington Capitals. Wilson is 6’4″ and 218 lbs.

In Wilson’s 6 seasons, he’s appeared in 454 games with 57 goals and 87 assist, totaling to 144 points. Wilson has a +35 career rating with a whopping 934 Penalties in Minutes.  When it comes to shots on goal, he’s collected 589 registered ones and has 1,061 total shots attempted. Wilson’s career average for time on the ice is 12:58 per game.

In the post season, Wilson has made 5 appearances in the playoffs with a total of 62 playoffs games. In those 62 games, Wilson has 8 goals, 12 assists for 20 points and a +3 rating. In the playoffs, Wilson’s penalty streak continues with a whopping 103 penalties in minutes. Wilson also has won one Stanley Cup. 

When it comes to Wilson’s playing style, he’s very physical as apparent but he’s also a good offensive player. He’s a creative play maker and is great on the penalty kill, he also has important defensive skills. Wilson has blocked 232 shots and handed out 1,344 big hits in his 6 seasons.

There is improvement to be made when it comes to Wilson’s skating stride but there is no doubt that he’s already improved upon that throughout his career. His puck handling skills are about average and he hosts a corsi for percentage of 49.1% over the course of his career. One of the best things about Wilson’s game is his consistency and durability, he’s has 3 seasons in the NHL with all 82 games played.

Ryan Reaves

Ryan Reaves is a 32-year-old right-winger for the Vegas Golden Knights. Reaves weights in at 225 lbs and 6’1″.

Ryan Reaves has been in the NHL for 9 seasons. In that time he’s played in 578 NHL games with 40 goals and 41 assists for a total of 81 points alongside a -10 career rating. Reaves has 863 penalty minutes in his career. As for shots on goal, Reaves has 378 registered shots on goal but a total of 665 attempted shots on goal. Reaves averages 8:20 minutes on the ice per game.

When it comes to playoff hockey, Reaves has been apart of 7 playoff appearances where he’s played in a total of 46 playoff games. In those 46, Reaves has 3 playoffs goals with playoff assists (totaling to 3 points) and a +2 rating. Reaves has 41 penalty minutes in the playoffs. Unlike Wilson, Reaves has never won a Stanley Cup.

Reaves playing style relies upon his physical strength more than anything. He’s not offensively a big threat, he’s more focused on protecting linemates who can carry the puck to the net rather than going and picking up a point himself.  In his career, Reaves has 1,865 registered hits and 136 blocked shots.

He’s one of the last in the dying breed of enforcers. Reaves is very expressive with his personality, something that is rare in the modern NHL. One place Reaves struggles is with his sense of what to do on the ice. He’s has made smart plays on the ice but he still can higher his hockey IQ. He tends to pull penalties that end up hurting his team in the end.

This is the closest thing I could find to a recent highlight reel.

Hams’ Take

I’m not picking based on whose a better fighter because there is so much more to hockey than that. Of course people can throw back and forth “He threw this cheap shot-” and “He did that-” but let’s be clear. They’ve both thrown cheap shots and inflicted injury. They’ve both done things on the ice that they’re probably not proud of but we’re not here to focus on that.

Personally, I feel as if Tom Wilson gets the upper hand between these two. Wilson is overall a great player that is still growing. He’s got potential to be so much more of a play and he’s still just hitting his prime at 25. He plays alongside some great teammates as well, not to say Reaves doesn’t, but as a group the Capitals have accomplished so much. Wilson has grown a lot as a player in his NHL career and he’s starting to be rewarded for that with more ice time every game.

Both players have accomplished quite a bit and have scraped even more than that but in this edition of Whose To Say, my winner has gotta be Tom Wilson.


More Whose To Say:

Auston Matthews vs Patrick Kane

Connor McDavid vs Sidney Crosby

Mitch Marner vs Patrik Laine

Tom Wilson vs Ryan Reaves

Ryan Strome vs Dylan Strome

Jonathan Toews vs T.J. Oshie

Patrick Marleau vs Joe Thornton

Miro Heiskanen vs Rasmus Dahlin


Featured Image: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

8 thoughts on “Whose To Say: Tom Wilson vs Ryan Reaves

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