Gabriel "Gabe" Vilardi (born August 16, 1999) is a Canadian professional ice hockey Centre currently playing for the Los Angeles Kings in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted eleventh overall by the Kings in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Vilardi played his Minor Midget season at Canadian International Hockey Academy, where he was exposed to elite training on and off the ice each day with professional coaches. Vilardi was drafted in the 1st round, 2nd overall, in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection by the Windsor Spitfires. While Vilardi is a natural centre he has primarily played as a winger with Windsor.
Leading up to the NHL draft, Vilardi was seen as a top prospect and was ranked the No. 4 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting Bureau. Craig Button of TSN described him as a big and strong centre with so much offensive upside.
In the 2017–18 season, on January 1, 2018, Vilardi along with Sean Day were traded by the Spitfires to the Kingston Frontenacs in exchange for Cody Morgan and six draft picks. On March 1, 2018, Vilardi signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Los Angeles Kings.
Due to a chronic back issue, Vilardi did not make his professional debut with Ontario Reign, the Kings American Hockey League affiliate, until November 29, 2018. He earned his first professional point three days later against the Tucson Roadrunners. On December 10, the Kings loaned Vilardi to Team Canada for a chance to compete at the 2019 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
Having recovered from his back issue, Vilardi found a more consistent spot with the Reign, playing 32 games in 2019-20 season, scoring 9 goals and 16 assists for 25 points. On February 20, 2020, Vilardi was recalled to the Kings from the Ontario Reign. He made his NHL debut later that night against the Florida Panthers. On his first career shot, Vilardi fired a wrist shot past Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Vilardi set a new NHL record, scoring his first career goal 10 seconds into his first career shift. Vilardi added an assist in the second period on a goal scored by Martin Frk.
Vilardi was born to Italian parents Natale Vilardi and Giovanna Siviglia who moved from Reggio Calabria to Kingston, Ontario. His older brother Francesco played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, and now plays for Queen's University hockey team.
Regular season and playoffs
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