It’s no secrete that many of the Washington Capitals prospects in the AHL are starting to heat-up in 2019. The Bears recently set an organizational record for consecutive games with points, and as a result, have risen from the basement to third place in the Atlantic Division.
After three months of getting acclimated to a new league and new life, many of the Capitals AHL prospects are beginning to find their stride. Maybe the biggest standout so far this season, with regards to growth of personal game, is centerman Garrett Pilon, who has quickly adapted his game to the AHL (from the WHL), and is now beginning to standout in the Chocolate and White.
Pilon, 20, had a goal and an assist in last night’s wild game against the Toronto Marlies at Giant Center. His tally came in the third period with the Bears trailing 4-2, on a beautiful redirect of a Ryan Sproul laser beam from the top of the right circle.
Pilon, 20, the Washington Capitals third round draft pick (87th) in 2016 NHL Entry Draft, has been developing nicely this season with the Hershey Bears, his first full season in the AHL. Pilon now has eight goals and 20 assists (28 points, 6th on the team) in 63 games played so far this season, with four goals and three assists coming in the last 10 games.
Pilon’s assist from last night may have been the highlight of the game, as he out-maneuvered a Marlies defenseman, made a nice cross ice move and tape-to-tape pass to a wide-open Jayson Megna for the score.
What’s been most notable is how Pilon has begun to standout in games, not always on the scoresheet, but with his play around the goal and play away from the puck. Pilon’s hockey sense is indeed emerging at the AHL level. Pilon is sixth on the team in total points, behind veterans Barber, Sgarbossa, Ness, Megna and Walker.
Pilon stands out with his stick and puck handling as well, often out-battling more seasoned opponents.
Pilon, or “Peels”, as Hershey bench boss Spencer Carbery calls him, is also the Bears primary faceoff specialst, and has also shown a bit of grit and snarl as of late, something undoubtedly is a Pilon family trait (you can read more about the Pilon family in our interview with Garrett from 2016 here.)
Pilon had a good year from start to finish last season in the WHL, which included a mid-season trade from Kamloops to Everett. He finished the regular season with 34 goals and 46 assists in 69 games played. He added another 11 goals and 17 assists in 22 postseason games.
Pilon’s 2017-2018 season included three hat tricks, Including a postseason hat trick on March 24th against the Seattle Thunderbirds in Game 2 of the Western Hockey League (WHL) playoffs.
By Jon Sorensen
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