Ryan Pilon #6 of Team Orr skates during the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team Cherry at the Meridian Centre on January 22, 2015 in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
(January 21, 2015 – Source: Getty Images North America)
The New York Islanders drafted Ryan Pilon in the 5th round of the 2015 NHL Draft and, at the time, it looked like a solid investment into a potential bottom 4 pairing defenseman. Friday the tables turned when Pilon’s WHL team, the Brandon Wheat Kings, released a statement regarding Pilon’s mindset to the sport of hockey.
Head Coach and General Manager Kelly McCrimmon told media Pilon has left the club for “personal reasons.”
"“Ryan came to me this week and told me that at this time he has lost his passion to play hockey and will be leaving the team… We had a number of discussions, but his final decision was that this was what he felt he needed to do,”"
Does this mean the end of the game for Pilon? Possibly, but nothing is certain at this point.
Ryan Pilon is not one to leave it all out on the ice during the game and now it seems it has carried over to the other side. Whether he had the biggest heart or not, Pilon still put up proportionate numbers with the Wheat Kings. His 139 points in 193 games will be a big loss for Brandon.
His “passion-less” play is something that most scouts noticed during the season.
Though the news is rather disappointing to fans, there is nothing to do but be optimistic. The loss of Pilon is a small hit to the Islanders considering the potential the team pulled in at the draft.
The 4 players selected by the Islanders before Pilon could have had more potential than Pilon, even before this incident. The 1st round picks, Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier, came to the Isles after some luck and head-scratching picks by the Bruins. 3rd round pick Mitchell Vande-Sompel, in my opinion, has a much higher ceiling than Pilon and Parker Wotherspoon, a 4th round pick, is more of a hidden defensive defenseman gem.
Whether Pilon’s absence is a short or lengthy one, he at least has the stomach to face the music.
This is also the 2nd defensive prospect the Islanders lost this season. Former Isle Robbie Russo signed an entry-level deal with the Red Wings after choosing not to sign with New York.
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