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Islanders draft pick Ryan Pilon leaves his junior team for personal reasons

Prospect has "lost his passion to play hockey," according to Brandon's GM.

Be well, kid.
Be well, kid.
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Brandon Wheat Kings have announced that defenseman Ryan Pilon, who was selected by the Islanders in the this summer's draft, has left the WHL team for personal reasons.

Pilon's departure appears to also have been a surprise to the Wheat Kings as they prep for training camp:

"Ryan came to me this week and told me that at this time he has lost his passion to play hockey and will be leaving the team," says Brandon Coach and General Manager Kelly McCrimmon.

"We had a number of discussions, but his final decision was that this was what he felt he needed to do," he added.

The Islanders traded back into the fifth round of the draft to take Pilon with the 147th pick. He had 11 goals and 41 assist for Brandon after requesting a trade from Lethbridge, his original team. Islanders fans were rooting double for Ryan Pilon, first because he looked like he could be a draft day gem and second because he is the cousin of former longtime Islander Rich Pilon.

It goes without saying that we hope Pilon finds his passion again, whether it's for hockey or something else. We'll update with any more details, but the young man's happiness is more important than the impact of his loss on the Islanders.