Wishart entered junior hockey after being selected in the second round, twenty-fourth overall, by the Prince George Cougars in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft. Wishart did not appear for Prince George, however, until the 2004-2005 season where he had 1 goal and 8 points in 58 games to go with 41 penalty minutes. In 2005-2006, he posted 5 goals and 37 points in 70 games en route to being named the twenty-first best North American skater prospect for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by NHL Central Scouting. Wishart was selected sixteenth overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks and returned to junior for the 2006-2007 season. That year he posted 11 goals and 49 points in 62 games for the Cougars. After growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of talent around him in Prince George, Wishart was traded midway through the 2007-2008 season to Moose Jaw. Between the Cougars and Warriors, Wishart put up 16 goals and 67 points in 72 games before going scoreless in 5 games for Worcester of the AHL at the end of the season. In the summer of 2008, Wishart was traded to Tampa Bay as a part of the deal that sent Dan Boyle to San Jose. He played in 61 games for the Lightning's AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, scoring a modest 1 goal and 7 points in 61 games. He also, however, posted the best plus/minus rating of any regular defenseman on the team with a +5 rating. He also made his NHL debut on January 22, 2009 against the Carolina Hurricanes and ended up with 1 assist in 5 games at the NHL level.
"6'5" defender rarely makes mistakes in his own end." -Red Line Report
Athletically, Wishart is the prototypical NHL defenseman most teams are dying to add to their roster: big and very mobile with the agility to contain and shut down opposing forwards. He uses his reach to his advantage well and is a master of both using the poke check and getting his stick into passing lanes. Wishart is strong and poised and plays a solid positional game. He also makes an excellent first pass out of the zone and has a heavy shot from the point. In the past couple of seasons, he's grown more comfortable and confident jumping into the play at even strength and running the power play with the man advantage.
The biggest knock on Wishart going into his draft year was his reluctance to use his size and strength to cancel out opposing players, and that knock has never completely gone away. His offensive game has improved by leaps and bounds over the past two seasons but he still has room to grow in the offensive third of the ice.
Heading into the 2006 NHL Entry Draft most teams projected Wishart as a number three defenseman in the NHL capable of logging over 20 minutes a night. Since then, Wishart has shown marked improvement in his offensive game while still showing himself to be incredibly solid and reliable in his own end of the ice. That's why we project him as a potential top-pair shut-down defenseman who not only will match up against opposing team's best forwards, but also might be capable of putting up 30-40 points a season from the backline as well.