I began my day-to-day tracking of Garrett Pilon, like I do for all prospects drafted by the Washington Capitals, the day he was drafted in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Seven years later Pilon has a Calder Cup and a handful of NHL games on his hockey resume. Not a bad run.
Pilon, son of New York Islanders legend Rich Pilon, was drafted by the Capitals in the third round (#87 overall) of the 2016 NHL entry draft. His Capitals ledger includes a franchise record – a perfect shooting percentage (one goal on one shot) in three games played.
“Peels” signed a three-year entry-level contract on March 30th, 2017 at $925,000 AAV. He signed a two-year extension with the Capitals on June 17, 2021 ($750,000/$110,000) and became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season. Pilon signed one-year, too-way deal with the Ottawa Senators on July 1, bringing his time in the Capitals organization to a close.
It’s disappointing as a fan, and as an analyst, to see Pilon depart, but it’s completely understandable. In the seven years in the Capitals organization Pilon endured being placed on waivers multiple times, and dealt with several near misses at a real shot at a long term role with the Capitals. That can take a toll on any player.
We track every prospect each and everyday they are in the Capitals system. Some have been more entertaining follows than others, while frankly, some have been a pain in the ass to track, but we always remain true to our mission. Pilon was a pleasure.
Pilon, 25, racked up many goals during his time in Hershey but none bigger than his tally in overtime of game 5 of the Calder Cup finals.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) June 18, 2023
Pilon finished his Bears career with 60 goals and 96 assists in 259 regular season games and five goals and 12 assists in 33 postseason games.
Beginning with watching many of Pilon’s late games in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers and the Everett Silvertips and each and every game with the Bears, Pilon was a pleasure to follow each and every step along the way. Ending with a Calder Cup Championship was one of the better (more tolerable) prospect exits in quite some time. He paid his dues, brought a championship to Hershey, and deserves another shot in another system.
— Garrett Pilon (@gpilon41) July 11, 2023
Seven years is a long time to dedicate to any company, organization or team. To be a model teammate, leader on and off the ice, scoring force and quality teammate on the ice each and every day is a rarity. Garrett Pilon did it with class every inch of the way. Best of luck to you, Garrett.
By Jon Sorensen