Out of COVID protocol, LA Kings forward Gabe Vilardi has been assigned to the Ontario Reign to resume his season.
LA Kings forward Gabe Vilardi has been assigned to the Ontario Reign, the team announced on Tuesday.
— LA Kings PR (@LAKingsPR) November 16, 2021
Vilardi, 22, last played on October 28 before he was a healthy scratch and went into COVID protocol shortly thereafter. The former 11th overall pick of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft got off to a difficult start this season, scoring just one goal in seven games played.
In 5-on-5 situations, Vilardi had the worst GF% to xGF% differential on the team in the early goings of this season.
I see you Brendan Lemieux 👀
— Ryan Sikes (@ryan_sikes10) November 15, 2021
Being sent down to Ontario does three things for the team:
1. Allows Gabe Vilardi to build some much-needed confidence while getting his sea legs back, so to speak.
2. Paves the way for Vilardi to potentially move to the wing at the AHL level, eventually returning to the NHL under the same role.
3. Solves a little bit of the roster crunch we knew was coming as players were getting healthy.
With Viktor Arvidsson out of protocol (but not yet activated) and Lias Andersson working his way back from injury, the Kings were facing a challenging decision of who to send back down to Ontario or who would be a healthy scratch. Given their positive strides, sending Rasmus Kupari and Arthur Kaliyev down made little sense. With Vilardi down in Ontario, the Kings roster stands at 22 of a maximum of 23 spots, per CapFriendly.
When Arvidsson is presumably activated prior to tomorrow night’s game against the Capitals, the Kings roster size will be maxed out.