The OHL trade of Los Angeles Kings’ prospect Gabe Vilardi is now official, and also includes New York Rangers draft pick Sean Day. The pair will head from the Windsor Spitfires to the Kingston Frontenacs in exchange for 16-year old Cody Morgan and eight draft picks that stretch all the way to 2028. Windsor is tearing apart the program a year after hosting and winning the Memorial Cup, a common practice in the CHL.
Vilardi, the 11th-overall pick in 2017 has recently been cleared to return to game action after a back injury kept him out for the first half of the season. He’ll bring an intense offensive presence to the Frontenacs, while Day gives them a veteran defenseman with good two-way upside. Day was allowed into the OHL at just 15 years old, but hasn’t found quite the same heights as his fellow “exceptional talents” like John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Connor McDavid. The pair should make Kingston a tough team to face as the league heads towards the playoff push.
- Al Montoya was back at Montreal Canadiens practice today for the first time since being ruled out with a concussion on November 9th. As Eric Engels of Sportsnet reports, the injury had occurred several days earlier, but symptoms developed slowly. The Canadiens currently employ Antti Niemi as their backup to Carey Price, but could potentially waive the netminder once again when Montoya is ready to return. Niemi has played for three teams already this season, and could find himself on the move again.
- The official roster for Team USA at the Pyeongchang Olympics will be announced today during the Winter Classic in New York, but apparently former NHL defenseman James Wisniewski has made it. That’s according to former teammate R.J. Umberger and TSN’s Darren Dreger, who both tweeted congratulations to the 33-year old. Wisniewski spent last season split between the AHL and KHL after attempting a comeback, and skated in the DEL’s second tier this year in his attempt to make the Olympic squad. A former 51-point defenseman for Columbus, Wisniewski was once a deadly powerplay quarterback and could assume that role again in the February Games.