Pilon ‘lost passion to play,’ leaves Wheat Kings

Ryan Pilon. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Defenceman Ryan Pilon has left the Brandon Wheat Kings for personal reasons, the team announced Friday.

Pilon was drafted by the New York Islanders in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL draft.

“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,” Brandon coach and GM Kelly McCrimmon said in a statement.

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

The 19-year-old Duck Lake, Sask., native was among the top scoring defencemen in the WHL last season, finishing with 11 goals and 52 points in 68 games.

Pilon, who was drafted third overall by the Hurricanes in the 2011 WHL bantam draft, was traded to the Wheat Kings in 2013 after demanding a trade out of Lethbridge. He finished his junior career with 23 goals and 116 points in 163 games.

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