Alum Gabriel Vilardi Makes Professional Hockey Debut
On Thursday afternoon, Gabriel Vilardi finally stepped onto the ice and made his professional debut with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, the affiliate team of the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
Vilardi played over 15 minutes and had two shots on goal in his team’s 3-2 victory.
It’s been a long road for Vilardi, the Kings 11th overall pick from the 2017 NHL Draft. He was slated to start the last two seasons in the Kings lineup but has been plagued by a back injury which has kept him from playing professional hockey until yesterday.
Last season, once healthy, the Kings assigned him to the Ontario Hockey League where he scored well over a point per game with the Kingston Frontenacs. This season, he has spent the early part of the year rehabbing and is currently on a conditioning stint with the Reign to get him back up to pace.
Vilardi is considered a top prospect within the Kings organization and is among the top prospects in the NHL as well. His first game is without a doubt a positive sign for Vilardi and the Kings, and a step in the right direction toward making his NHL debut in the near future.