Free agent forward Colin Wilson retires from NHL at age 31

Former Colorado Avalanche centre Colin Wilson (22) has announced his retirement from the NHL at age 31. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

Colin Wilson, who played 11 NHL seasons with the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche, has retired from the NHL at age 31.

Wilson's career was cut short by a pair of hip surgeries in December of 2019.

In October, Wilson penned an article in The Player's Tribune where he opened up about his mental health, revealing that he suffers from OCD and the challenges that has brought him during the pandemic.

"This last year has been tough. I had to have double hip surgery in December 2019 because of issues that came from the groin problems I’ve had since I was a kid. But my hips haven’t healed properly, and I haven’t been able to walk normally all year, so I just had to have it done again. It’s hard because I haven’t been on the ice in a long, long time. I haven’t had much control," he wrote. "I don’t know when I will again, either.

"If I’m being honest, I think my days of playing hockey are probably over," Wilson wrote. "I haven’t quite come to terms with it fully. But that is the truth."

Wilson was originally a first-round pick (seventh overall) by the Predators in 2008 and made his NHL debut with Nashville in October of 2009. After helping the Predators reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, he was traded to the Avalanche where he played his final three seasons. Last season, he was limited to only nine games before he had double-hip surgery and he became an unrestricted free agent this off-season.

In all, Wilson appeared in 632 regular season games and scored 113 goals and 286 points. He added 33 points in 65 playoff games. He is a third-generation NHL player, following in the footsteps of his father Carey and grandfather Jerry.

“At this time, I am left to reflect on the eight-year-old kid from Winnipeg who couldn’t be dragged off a pond or outdoor rink. I can only imagine his excitement in learning of his career he would have in the NHL," Wilson said in a statement announcing his retirement. "I would like to thank the game of hockey for the incredible experiences and amazing people I was exposed to along my path. It is very bittersweet to retire as I leave my childhood passion behind but look forward to what comes next."

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