With the 87th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, the Washington Capitals went off the board and selected the 109th ranked North American skater, Garrett Pilon, of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers.
The five-foot, ten-inch, 174 pound center is the son of former New York Islanders defenseman Rich Pilon, a heavy hitter who put up 1,745 PIMs in 631 NHL games.
Pilon had 15 goals and 32 assists last season on a stacked Blazers team. Six of his goals were game winners. In the playoffs, Pilon had three points in seven games.
Being the son of an enforcer means that you can’t shy away from the rough stuff. Garrett doesn’t, though it is not the most important part of his game. A two-way center with a quality wrist shot, Pilon worked his way up the Kamloops depth chart this year, and was trusted in many situations by the time the postseason came around. Pilon is a smaller forward that will need to add strength to his frame. His skill is an underrated part of his game.
Caps take forward Garrett Pilon from the WHL. Great, great wrist shot. Dad played for Islanders.
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) June 25, 2016
Here’s what Craig Fischer had to say about Pilon via Hockey’s Future HFBoards.
- High IQ hockey player
- A bit undersized at 5’10 and a bit but has grown a lot since Bantam (was 5’2)
- Excellent hands, great shot, so smart with the puck
- Plays the point on the PP
- Works hard
- Buried behind a few good Blazers
- SMHL scoring leader (recent past graduates include Leier, Rielly, Chartier –Pilon outscored all of them, though in his older season)
Here’s an interview Pilon did with Kamloops.
As long as he doesn't play like this… pic.twitter.com/2vLCygLz0K
— RMNB (@russianmachine) June 25, 2016
Additional reporting by Spenser Smallwood.