Ivan Provorov and Ryan Pilon will both play in the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game in St. Catherines, Ontario on Thursday.
“It’s humbling being noted as a Top-40 prospects. Going into the season, it’s one of the goals to make this team and luckily enough, Ivan and I both did,” said Pilon on Saturday, “It’s a great opportunity to showcase what we both have.”
Both Pilon and Provorov have been paired together on the Wheat Kings’ blueline for the entire 2014-2015 season, and will play together for Team Orr in the Top Prospects contest.
Pilon says that’s good news for them both.
“It’ll be a lot easier,” said Pilon, “Playing with Ivan all season, it’s been going real well for us so it will definitely be more comfortable with that familiarity out there.”
The 6-foot-2, 212 pound Pilon has been generally ranked as a mid-to-late second round prospects in most rankings that have been published, and there are a lot of those out there these days.
The 18-year old Pilon says he tries to not let those rankings be a distraction.
“It’s always there. They’re going out on social media, it’s around the room and we’re talking about it but when we’re out there, we’re playing for Brandon...that’s our main focus right now,” said Pilon, the nephew of former NHLer Rich Pilon, “We’re building toward a championship. Team success comes first for us and all the personal success will come after that.”
Pilon is ninth in defencemen scoring in the Western Hockey League with 36 points in 42 games and after taking a little dip after suffering an injury in late October, the Duck Lake, Saskatchewan product seems to have regained the form that made him such a big force on the blueline during the first third of the regular season.
“I’m 100 per cent right now. That injury put a little damper on the season for sure,” said Pilon, “The Christmas break was real good to rest my shoulder, and rest mentally as well. You have to mentally prepare for another half of the season and I’ve came back and feel that I’ve done that.”
In addition to the game on Thursday, the Top Prospects event also includes a round of fitness testing and, perhaps, some Q-&-A’s with NHL teams on Wednesday.
This year marks the 20th annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL Draft eligible players with Provorov and Pilon the 16th and 17th members of the Wheat Kings to participate in the event.
Chaff...the NHL Central Scouting Service’s midterm rankings are to be revealed on Tuesday (January 20) on www.nhl.com... future Wheat Kings’ captain Darren Van Oene participated in the first CHL Top Prospects Game in 1996...the Top Prospects Game will be broadcast liveon Rogers Sportsnet beginning at 6:00 p.m. (CST).