Kamloops Blazers F Garrett Pilon – Draft Eligible Prospects With NHL Bloodline’s

KELOWNA, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 25: Garrett Pilon #41 of Kamloops Blazers celebrates his first WHL goal against the Kelowna Rockets on September 25, 2015 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
KELOWNA, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 25: Garrett Pilon #41 of Kamloops Blazers celebrates his first WHL goal against the Kelowna Rockets on September 25, 2015 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /

Kamloops Blazers F Garrett Pilon – Prospects with NHL Bloodline’s

Kamloops Blazers F Garrett Pilon is number 11 on our list in a series dedicated to draft-eligible prospects with current or past family ties to the NHL. Garrett is the son of former NHLer Rich Pilon, drafted 143rd overall (7th Round) by New York Islanders back in 1986. 

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Matthew Tkachuk, Jakob Chychrun, Alex Nylander, Kieffer Bellows, and Logan Brown are the first names to come to mind for 2016 draft-eligible prospects with current/or former NHL bloodline’s.

Both Keith Tkachuk and Michael Nylander had long, successful careers. Brian Bellows played nearly 1200 games, producing more than 1000 points. Jeff Brown also had a solid career posting 585 points in 747 points from the back-end. Jeff Chychrun was a 1984 draft pick, a veteran of 262 games playing until 1993-94, finishing his career with AHL Cape Breton.

We are featuring 15 draft-eligible prospects with NHL bloodline’s/family ties. The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will be held on June 24-25 in Buffalo, New York at the First Niagara Center.

NHL Bloodline’s: Kamloops Blazers F Garrett Pilon

Kamloops Blazers F Garrett Pilon
Father: Rich Pilon
Brother: Ryan Pilon

The last name should be familiar. Garrett’s brother Ryan was the focal piece of a news item last September when the Islanders 5th rounder announced his retirement from pro hockey.

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  • Oddly enough, Ryan is playing for FCHL (Fort Carleton Hockey League) Warman Wildcats – a Provincial Senior A league located in Saskatchewan. He finished 15th in league scoring with 26 points in 16 games.

    Garrett’s father Rich was an NHL veteran of 15 years. He spent his first 11 seasons with the New York Islanders, before joining the Rangers during the 1999-2000 season. He spent the 2000-01 campaign with the NY Rangers, then joined St.Louis in 2001-02 for his final NHL season.

    Rich was a physical defenseman, one of those fan favorites that loved to drop the gloves, or throw a big hit. Rich didn’t accumulate many points, and struggled to get in the lineup at times, but he had no issue tallying up the penalty minutes.

    Rich Pilon appeared in 631 regular season games over his 15-year career, only producing 77 points. He did manage 1745 penalty minutes over that span.

    Side Story: Kevin Stevens Hit via Wikipedia,

    On May 14, 1993, during game seven of the Patrick Division finals between the underdog New York Islanders and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins not only saw one of the greatest upsets in NHL playoff history (with the Islanders’ David Volek eventual overtime goal) but one of the worst freak accidents to ever occur on the ice.

    Early in the first period, the puck went into the Islanders’ corner. The Penguins’ star power-forward, Kevin Stevens, skated in hard and attempted to hit Pilon but instead was met by Pilon’s visor which knocked Stevens unconscious in mid-air.

    The unprotected fall left Stevens to smash his face on the ice upon impact. Stevens laid motionless on the ice for several seconds with the referee and Penguins teammates concerned, a pool of blood forming around Stevens’ head, before the team trainer attended to him.

    Stevens was carted off the ice in a stretcher with a neck brace around his head. He required immediate surgery on his crushed face, injuries that ended up being a broken sinus bone and nose, as well as many facial lacerations and bruises. Stevens’ face required over one-hundred stitches that left him unrecognizable, even to his own family, for the next few weeks until the swelling went down.

    More puck prose: KHL Player Takes Skate Blade to Throat

    We have a video of that incident below. Consider this NSFW (not safe for work). Kevin Stevens makes vicious contact when his face hits the ice.

    Rich Facts:

    – Inductee of the Prince Albert Raiders Hall of Fame
    – Rich Pilon and Jeff Norton are depicted as the two defenders Mario Lemieux skates between in a 4,700-pound bronze statue unveiled on 7 March 2012 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He learned of his inclusion in the statue via text message on the day it was unveiled. [Wikipedia]
    – Most Painful Moment: “My most painful moment was when I took a puck in the eye and broke my orbital bone and also lost all of my central vision to this day. (Against who?) Against the Detroit Red Wings in my second year playing for the Islanders.” [The Hockey News]
    – Why You Love Playing Hockey: “It was something that I started playing at a young age and fell in love with the game. I still love the game today. It not only teaches teamwork, respect and commitment. Hockey, to me, mirrors life and can give you life skills to be successful in the real world. Greatest game on Earth for me.” [The Hockey News]

    Kamloops Blazers F Garrett Pilon – 187th Ranked North American Skater

    His father Rich stood 6’0 205lbs, whereas Garrett stands 5’10 174lbs.

    He was a late bloomer that led the SMHL (Saskatchewan Junior League) last year (2014-15) in scoring. Garrett began the 2015-16 season with WHL Kamloops buried down the depth chart, but has earned himself a larger role as the season moved along.

    Garrett Pilon is not shy about playing a physical game. He is a smart two-way center that is known for having an excellent work ethic. An underrated prospect, Pilon should continue to climb draft boards leading into June – He possesses serious NHL potential.

    More puck prose: 2016 NHL Mock Draft 2.0

    Below is a ShawTV Kamloops interview with Garrett Pilon

    Craig Fischer 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)

    Next: NHL Bloodline's: Prospect Hayden Verbeek

    2016 Draft-Eligible Prospects With NHL Bloodline’s:
    *NHL family ties in parentheses

    | Ty Ronning (Cliff) | Riley Stillman (Cory) | Graham McPhee (George) | Kenny Johnson (Jack) | Casey Fitzgerald (Tom) | Mathieu Sevigny (Pierre) | Luke McInnis (Marty) | Hudson Elynuik (Pat) | Ben Hawerchuk (Dale) | Hayden Verbeek (Pat) | Garrett Pilon (Rich) | Kelly and Kevin Klima (Petr) | David Quenneville (John, Joel) | Fredrik Forsberg (Filip) | Kristian Reichel (Robert)

    In 2015-16, Kamloops Blazers F Garrett Pilon has 15 goals, 23 assists (38 points) in 65 games. The Blazers look to be postseason bound, offering Garrett one more opportunity to make an impression on NHL scouts.