WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9)--There's a new kid in town playing for the Washington Capitals. He's the Caps 2012 first-round draft pick, Tom Wilson, a 19 year-old Canadian. And while he's not a household name yet, he may be soon.
On the ice, Wilson has quickly earned a reputation as a fearless hockey player. In fact, he chipped the first tooth of his NHL career during a game in September.
"Kind of unfortunate, but now I'm a hockey player, right?" Wilson cracks a broad smile.
At 19, he's the youngest player on the Washington Capitals and the only teenager.
"It's huge for me to be where I am right now. I think the average age to make it into the NHL is mid-20s. I'm really honored and privileged to have the opportunity so young and I just want to make the most of it and keep it rolling," he said.
Off the ice, Wilson is extraordinary grounded and well liked by his teammates.
"It's a little bit different. I come from Toronto. The drinking age is 19. I come here, the guys want to go out for a drink, I can't really do that," he said.
We asked this poised teenager, "Are you sure you're not 40 in a 19 year-old body?"
Wilson laughed and replied, "You have to mature quick."
He's extremely close to his family.
"I never had pressure that a lot of kids growing up in Canada feel. My parents, growing up, were never the hockey Dad and Mom that would scream at you if you messed up on the ice. It was always very supportive and if I told my Dad tomorrow that I didn't want to play anymore, he'd support me. I mean, obviously he'd say 'what the heck are you doing?'"
Wilson started skating at the age of two, after his father built a backyard rink.
"My older brother went to get his first pair of skates. He's five years older than me, and I wouldn't leave the store until my Dad got myself a pair," Wilson recalled. "So I was kind of kicking and screaming and wanting a pair, and then, we went back and skated around for hours on end. I've been skating ever since."
Hockey forced Wilson to miss his high school prom and it remains his focus. So, he does not have a girlfriend.
Laughing, Wilson confirms, "Nope. Not yet."
And as for that knocked-out tooth?
"There was no penalty on the play and my mouth was bleeding and my tooth was gone. I looked at the ref and I wanted to say you'll have to explain this to my Mom."
And he had instructions for the dentist.
"You gotta do a good job for my Mom's sake. I don't care but she's not going to be happy about it," he said.
Caps fans have already embraced the scrappy young player, who appears to be skating quickly to his lifelong dream.
"To see your name on a jersey, a Washington Capitals jersey, that a fan wants to come up and have you sign, it's pretty special and it's kind of something you always dream about."
We asked Wilson what he likes most and least about living in DC so far. He loves seeing the monuments and the Capitol when he's driving to home games at the Verizon Center. What he still finds challenging: driving in DC traffic.