It would appear the Wildcats scouting staff hit another homerun when they drafted Charles-Antoine Pilote in the 7th round, 117th overall in 2019. Nevertheless, very few are talking about his progression and future in the game.
Charles Antoine Pilote has had a fantastic start to his QMJHL career.
One has to look beyond the stat sheet to fully appreciate what he can do on the ice and what he’s going to be capable of down the road.
There’s no question the smooth skating effective puck moving rearguard has flown under the fly under the radar this season.
At 6”3 192 pounds, it’s hard not to notice Pilote patrolling the Wildcats blueline.
You see the 17-year-old from Saint-Lambert, Quebec has all the tools to be a highly effective two-way defender. Pilote skates tremendously well for his size has a fantastic shot from the point and a good first pass.
He possesses solid puck skills and sees the ice and thinks the game very well. Pilote has all the makings of a solid two and half zone defenceman.
So the obvious question remains why aren’t people talking about him?
Pilote isn’t flashy and at times this season has looked like a 17-year-old rookie trying to find his way, which is perfectly normal.
A less is more approach at times would definitely serve Pilote well, but let me be the first to tell you some NHL scouts have certainly taken notice.
You see there’s something there when you watch, assess and project Charles-Antoine Pilote.
Every game he does something on the ice that jumps off the page. Every game there’s a glimpse of future brilliance.
You see that’s why some NHL scouts are quite intrigued and are watching Pilote’s progression very closely.
Right now for Pilote it’s all about developing, growing and becoming a complete player.
The Wildcat rookie does have room to grow, but given his current progression and skill development, he will undoubtedly be a dominant force at 19 in QMJHL.
Like many other young defenders Pilote will have to continue to work on his consistency, refinement of his defensive play, explosiveness and his upper body strength to reach his maximum potential.
I realize he’s only 13 games into his Q career, but Pilote is on a damn good developmental trajectory.
Pilote’s role with the rebuilding Cats will undoubtedly change in the second half given the potential trade rumours surrounding Jordan Spence, Tristan De Jong and Sean Stewart.
People may not be talking about Pilote’s play right now, but they soon will.