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Fantasy Summary

A sniper who can elevate the puck quickly in tight and capitalize on high-danger chances from the slot. He skates well and has a decent all-around skill set but has faced criticism for his sub-standard pace


Observations

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August 2023 – Vilmanis, 19, has raised his stocks since Florida took him in the fifth round a year ago by representing his native Latvia at several international tournaments. He stood out on an oft-outmatched team because of his slick puck handling and dangerous wrist shot, coming up with clutch goals and helping buoy his teammates against superior competition. Vilmanis spent last year adjusting to North American play in the OHL after coming up through the Swedish system, a move that brought him one step closer to wearing the Cat on his chest. He was a secondary scorer (45 points in 62 games) on a strong Sarnia team in 2022-23, showing some improvements in the weaker areas of his game, especially inconsistent engagement and slow processing speed. Panthers fans will be hoping their depth pick from 2022 takes another step forward in 2023-24 and continues to generate value for their relatively depleted pipeline. Ben Gehrels

May 2023 – Vilmanis has difficulty processing his options at full speed and slows down more out of necessity. That said, he performed well at the J20 level in Sweden in 2021-22, scoring 32 points in only 40 games, including 18 goals. A promising sign: most of his points were of the primary variety, meaning he was directly impacting play instead of benefitting by proxy via secondary assists. He then took his talents to the OHL, where he racked up a respectable 45 points in 62 games. Vilmanis is the kind of player who thrives with the extra space to work with on a powerplay. He will likely re-up with Sarnia for the 2023-24 campaign, which will give Panthers brass a clearer idea of what they have in him. Ben Gehrels

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 5.0
NHL Certainty 5.0
Country LAT
Position LW
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth January 23, 2004
Height 6‘1”
Weight 192 lbs
Drafted 2022 Round 5; Overall: 157

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2016-2017 HK Pirati PWQC Int PW5 9 413 2|        
 2018-2019 HK Pirati U17Latvia U17- - -- -|        
  Latvia Selects U15WSI U155 0 22 0|        
 2019-2020 Luleå HF U16U16 Region23 30 3464 40|Playoffs QC6 5 611
  Luleå HF U16U16 SM3 2 46 0|        
  Luleå HF J18J18 Region3 0 00 0|        
  Luleå HF J18J18 Nationell3 1 01 0|        
  Latvia U16 (all)International-Jr3 3 14 0|        
 2020-2021 Luleå HF J18J18 Region5 6 28 0|        
  Luleå HF J20J20 Nationell9 0 00 0|        
  HK RigaMHL22 2 24 6|        
  Latvia U18WJC-183 1 12 0|        
 2021-2022 Luleå HF J18J18 Nationell3 3 25 0|Playoffs1 1 01
  Luleå HF J20J20 Nationell40 18 1432 8|Playoffs5 0 00
  Latvia U18WJC-184 1 23 0|        
  Latvia U20WJC-205 0 11 2|        
  Latvia U20WJC-20 D1A5 2 13 0|        
 2022-2023 Sarnia StingOHL62 20 2545 14|Playoffs14 4 37
  Latvia U20WJC-206 1 12 4|        
 2023-2024 Sarnia StingOHL30 10 1828 6|        
  North Bay BattalionOHL30 28 1139 4|Playoffs16 10 1727
  Latvia U20WJC-205 2 24 0|        
 2024-2025 Charlotte CheckersAHL- - -- -|        

Highlights