The Kings have locked up their top pick from last June’s draft, announcing that they have signed center Gabriel Vilardi to a three-year, entry-level contract. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 18-year-old was the 11th overall selection in the draft but his 2017-18 season hasn’t exactly been one to remember. He suffered a back injury while training during the summer which kept him out of the lineup in the early going this season. He was assigned back to the OHL in November to continue his rehab but he didn’t actually see game action until January 5th after his junior rights were dealt from Windsor to Kingston.
Vilardi has certainly made up for lost time as he has gotten off to a flying start with 43 points (14-29-43) in just 23 games with the Frontenacs. Unsurprisingly, he was a highly sought-after prospect at the trade deadline but the Kings had little intention of moving him. Vilardi still has a year of junior eligibility remaining and won’t be able to play at the AHL level next year so he will have to return to the OHL if he is unable to land a roster spot with Los Angeles in October.