As the "Tort"ure gets underway at training camp this week, one player that has stood out so far on day one, is Wojtek Wolski.
After being drafted 21st overall in 2004, things seemed to unfold the way they should for a 21st overall pick. He put up 128 points playing for the Brampton Battalion of the OHL in 2005-2006 in only 57 games, leading to him getting called up to the big leagues.
Wojtek holds 12 different franchise records for Brampton which is remarkable to say the least. In 320 career NHL games before last season, Wolski had accumulated 192 points. That's not too bad for a 24 year old, but there has always been a problem with Wolski. Despite haivng good point totals, he finds himself on his 3rd NHL team in 5 seasons.
Wolski's problem has always been his attitude and effort. He has been a one-dimensional player his whole career and that doesn't bode well in the NHL. Last season, he put up only 35 points in 73 games played and was invisible in many games. Entering this season, Wolski knows he has to perform as this can be a make or break season for him as it is his contract year.
He trained extremely hard this off-season as he attended the Bio-Steel camp and worked out with other NHLers such as Steven Stamkos, Mike Cammalleri, Tyler Seguin, and Jeff Skinner. He also worked out with wonder woman, Barb Underhill who drastically changed Brian Boyle last off-season. Wolski has learned about proper nutrition and plans to eat a healthy diet.
Yesterday, Wolski told the Rangers that he "completely threw everything out the window and started over". He also told Andrew Gross that he knows the expectations are for him to be a top-six player on this team and that he would love to play with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards.
Wolski has learned what it is like to play for Tortorella in his short stint with the team last season. He is the only one who can fix himself and while ultimately it is Torts' decision, Wolski will have a big say in who will be the top line left wing. Only time will tell if Wolski has really changed, but for now all we can do is be happy that he is addressing his problems.