Prospect Ramblings: Long Awaited NHL Debut of Gabriel Vilardi

Josh Tessler


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On Thursday, the Los Angeles Kings called up center prospect Gabriel Vilardi from the AHL’s Ontario Reign. In his first game with the Kings, against the Florida Panthers, Vilardi recorded his first NHL goal on his very first shift. Vilardi had picked up the puck from defenseman Kurtis MacDermid at the blue line and fired a wrist shot for a goal just outside the perimeter. In the video clip below, you can check out Vilardi’s first career NHL goal.


Unfortunately, the road to the NHL has been a tough one for the former first-round draft selection from Kingston, Ontario. Throughout his time in the OHL, Vilardi had dealt with back spasms and chronic back pain. There were rumors back in the summer before the 2018-2019 regular season that Vilardi could make the Kings roster out of training camp. But, his back pain came back. Vilardi was on the shelf for most of the season, but he did manage to suit up in four games for the Ontario Reign. In four games, he mustered up just one assist.


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