The Islanders acquired the 147 pick in the 2015 draft from the Florida Panthers for a fifth rounder in next year's draft, and used the pick to take a kid who's already a fan favorite, defenseman Ryan Pilon of the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The third straight defenseman picked on Day Two by the Islanders, Pilon is the biggest. Was ranked 24th by NHL's Central Scouting, but somehow fell into the fifth round.
Pilon was unhappy with his first junior team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and asked for a trade last year. He had 11 goals and 41 assists in 68 games for Brandon after the trade. The Wheat Kings advanced to the WHL final this season.
At Sportsnet, Jeff Marek describes him a project with size.
Marek's Take: Already has an NHL body but still has things in his game to work on. You can see the potential there. Had a good year on a very good Brandon team. It seems all the Lethbridge drama is well behind him. Has a strong shot. Leadership qualities are there.
uncle older cousin Rich busted heads and patrolled the blueline for the Islanders in the 1990's and 2000's. But you knew that already.
Arthur Staple's quick summary:
Another LH D-man, nephew of former #Isles D-man Rich Pilon. 6-foot-2. 11-41-52 in 68 games for Brandon, teammate of Ryan Pulock in 13-14.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 27, 2015
UPDATE: Er...make that cousin.
Ryan Pilon says Rich is his cousin, not uncle. And Ryan Pulock was Ryan Pilon's D-partner in 13-14 with Brandon.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 27, 2015
The Islanders will be back in the sixth round. For now.