When the Hershey Bears play their first game of the Atlantic Division Finals of the AHL playoffs on Saturday, it’s possible that they will have two bright young faces joining them on the bench.
The Bears have signed first-round pick Lucas Johansen and forward Garrett Pilon to amateur tryout agreements (ATOs).
Johansen, 19, signed an entry-level contract (that begins in 2017-18) with the Washington Capitals in March. Having just finished his season with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, the ATO will allow him to play with the Bears for the remainder of their season. Johansen tallied 41 points (six goals, 35 assists) with the Rockets this season and will wear #24 for the Bears. He also eats a ton.
Pilon, 18, earned 65 points (20 goals, 45 assists) this season with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, and like Johansen will use the ATO to play in the postseason. Soon to wear #29 for the Bears, Pilon has an entry level contract with the Caps that will begin with the 2017-18 season.
Both young Canadian players have a heritage of hockey. Johansen’s older brother Ryan Johansen currently plays as a forward with the Nashville Predators, and Pilon’s father Rich Pilon played over 600 NHL games as a defenseman with the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and St. Louis Blues.
More from the Bears:
(Hershey, PA- May 2, 2017)-The *Hershey Bears *announced today that the club has signed defenseman Lucas Johansen and forward Garrett Pilon to amateur tryout agreements.
Johansen, 19, was Washington’s first round selection, 28th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft. The defender posted 41 points (six goals, 35 assists) in 68 games with the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL this season. The 6-foot-2,
177-pound Johansen finished second among Rockets defensemen in points, goals, and assists. The Port Moody, B.C. native served as an alternate captain for the club and tallied eight assists in 17 playoff games. He signed a three-year, entry-level deal with Washington on Mar. 2 that starts in the 2017-18 season.
In three seasons, Johansen appeared in 202 career games with Kelowna, registering 98 points (17 goals, 81 assists), and a plus/minus rating of +54. Along with current Hershey defender Madison Bowey, Johansen guided the Rockets to a WHL championship in 2014-15. Last season, Johansen registered 49 points (10 goals, 39 assists) in 69 games with Kelowna, leading the team’s blue liners in points, goals, and assists, and ranking third among WHL defensemen in power play assists (25). Johansen is the younger brother of Ryan Johansen, a forward for the Nashville Predators.
Pilon, 18, returns to Hershey after previously signing a tryout agreement with the team on Apr. 5. He recorded 65 points (20 goals, 45 assists) and a +26 rating in 67 games with the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL this season. He finished first on the team in assists and third on the team in points. He recorded 18 multi-point games and ranked fourth on the team in goals. The Saskatoon, native tallied 112 points (35 goals, 77 assists) in 138 career WHL games with Kamloops over two seasons.
Pilon was a third round selection of the Washington Capitals in the 2016 NHL Draft. On Mar. 29, Pilon signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the Capitals beginning with the 2017-18 season. He is the son of Rich Pilon, a former NHL defender who skated in 631 NHL games with the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, and St. Louis Blues.
Johansen will wear #24 for Hershey while Pilon will wear #29.
Headline photos by Minas Panagiotakis and Marissa Baecker
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