New Face on the Stage: Inside Garrett Pilon’s NHL Debut Against the Philadelphia Flyers

Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The announcement prior to the Washington Capitals’ Saturday night game against the Philadelphia Flyers that former third-round draft pick Garrett Pilon was added to the active roster, becoming the latest Capitals prospect to don the Red, White, and Blue for the first time.

The son of former NHLer Rich Pilon (also a teammate of Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara during his time with the New York Islanders) was drafted by the Caps with the 87th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and has had a strong season with the American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears, recording 16 points in 14 Games Played with the Chocolate and White, and becomes the fourth Capitals draft pick to debut for the team this season.

Pilon played a total of 10:43 for Head Coach Peter Laviolette, recording no shots on goal while remaining an Even Plus/Minus rating. Prior to the game, Pilon took the customary first laps alone, before being joined by his teammates.

Pilon’s taking the ice with Chara, who is 21 years his senior, gives Chara the distinction of playing alongside both Garrett and his father Rich, who played with Chara in New York during Chara’s first three seasons with the Islanders.

Pilon’s former junior team, the Kamloops Blazers tweeted a tribute to their former player on the night of his NHL debut, telling him to “Enjoy the moment”:

In addition to his playing time at even-strength, Pilon saw 52 seconds of power play time as well.

Pilon and Michael Raffl would be awarded the headbands for the game.

By Michael Fleetwood

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About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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