By JD Lagrange – He was the first Pitlick to join the Habs’ organization, selected in the 5th round (131st overall) by the Canadiens in the 2019 NHL Draft. Little did young Rhett Pitlick at the time, the Canadiens have since brought in his brother Rem, and his cousin Tyler since January. Now, he dreams of not only making it to the NHL one day, but to wear the Canadiens’ jersey alongside his two family members.
Standing at 5-foot 9-inches and 161 lbs, the 21 year-old Plymouth, Minnesota native just finished his first season playing for the University of Minnesota. The left-winger has managed a respectable five goals and 18 points in 30 games in the NCAA after battling through injuries at the start of the season.
“When I watch my brother on TV, through the eyes of a younger brother, putting up points on the same line is a dream. It brings excitement and my goal is to get there. My parents and grand-parents are thrilled to see my brother and my cousin on the same team. I’m hoping that we’ll get to do that all three of us. It’s certainly exciting.” ~ Rhett Pitlick
After drafting him, Trevor Timmins compared the youngest Pitlick to Pittsburgh Penguins’ winger Jake Guentzel. Timmins described the young American as very fast, with a good shot and who plays quick.
While he hasn’t been in touch with Jeff Gorton or Kent Hughes, Pitlick says being in touch with the team’s Director of Player Development, Rob Ramage, whom he qualifies as a fantastic man.
“I talk to him (Ramage) quite often. It’s good that he stays in touch. We get emails about training and nutrition. I love talking to him. He has acquired a lot of wisdom throughout his career and he can share his experience with us. He can help me take the proper steps.” ~ Rhett Pitlick
Rem, 25, was drafted in the third round by the Nashville Predators. He was placed on waivers by the Preds back in October 2021 when the Minnesota Wild claimed him. The Ottawa-native had 11 points in 20 games for the Wild this season when, in January, they tried to send him down to their AHL affiliate. And that’s when the Canadiens picked him off waivers. In 42 games with the Habs, the pending RFA has managed seven goals and 23 points so far.
As for Tyler, a pending UFA, he came to Montreal along with prospect Emil Heineman, a first round pick in 2022 and a 5th round pick in 2023, in the trade sending Tyler Toffoli to Calgary back in mid-February.
“My brother and my cousin tell me that the changes are for the best out there. Rem finds that Martin St-Louis is a great coach. He’s a member of the Hall of Fame and has a good influence on the players. He’s good for their development.” ~ Rhett Pitlick
The youngest of the Pitlick’s will remain at the University of Minnesota and he will be eligible to sign with the Canadiens in a year from now, or he might play a third season in the NCAA. As Tyler is a pending UFA, there is no guarantee that he will still be in Montreal by the time Rhett is ready to make his debuts with the Canadiens. But the way Rem has played, and based on the ice time St-Louis is giving him, there’s a good chance that the two brothers could potentially play together. That would not only make them happy, but the entire family would be thrilled.