Well much to you and Nickdt saying otherwise, he can still get Piplup even if he is in the Hyper class. I expect Ash to remain in the hyper class for the foreseeable future, since that is where in my opinion is his current skill set is at. I am basing it on his past series and I don’t think base on his current team that they are all capable of defeating the Elite 4 and Champions. Since this series should go on for a 4th year instead of the typical 3, I am expecting his current rise in the rankings to start slowing down like Goh’s catching sprees. So if he does get Piplup it can evolve rather quickly to get to Empoleon since writers have been rushing Goh’s starter’s evolutions, they can do the same with Piplup. With that in mind, I don’t expect Ash to battle Leon until the end of series as the final important plot point, the 3 rd opening is very similar to SM’s 3 rd opening where we saw Kukui starting to prepare for the league but that didn’t mean that the league was coming soon, just like this current opening does not mean Ash will take on Leon yet.Well, it so happens not. There will be much stronger opponents in Hyper Class, so Piplup will be unnecessary for him. I think it is not for nothing that all of his traps in Journeys (so far) can no longer evolve, or only have one evolutionary form.
Piplup will be a Koharu Pokémon rather