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Gabriel Vilardi Opens Up on Great Success Following Return From Injury

Published December 26, 2023 at 12:27

Vilardi Finds Success in Winnipeg After Major Injury


Gabriel Vilardi has faced considerable adversity in his young career, with his recent six-week absence due to an MCL sprain being just another chapter in his journey.

The 24-year-old forward endured a significant setback when a nagging back injury cost him two crucial years of development with the Los Angeles Kings. Vilardi expressed his perspective, saying, "You can always look back and say ‘what if' and ‘what could've been', and I don't really think like that too much anymore. I just try and stay in the moment."

Reflecting on those lost years, Vilardi acknowledged:

"You can't really say you're ever going to ‘catch up', you can try and make up for lost time, but at the end of the day, I lost two years where guys are improving and getting better. Would I say my career is in a different place had I not had that? Yeah, I absolutely believe I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in right now."

Currently, Vilardi is thriving with 15 points in 14 games, with 12 of those points coming in his last five. He has put his injury concerns behind him and is making significant contributions to the Winnipeg Jets. Last season, he showcased his potential with 41 points in 63 games for the Kings.

Vilardi: An Example of Determination


Despite overcoming back injuries and, most recently, an MCL sprain, Vilardi is currently playing the best hockey of his career on the Jets' top line. He emphasized the importance of seizing opportunities when they arise, having transitioned from a middle-six role during his time in LA to a prominent role in Winnipeg.

Vilardi's injury occurred in a game against his former team, the LA Kings. Upon his return, it took a few games to regain his form, but when he joined the top line following Kyle Connor's injury, he found his rhythm.

The Winnipeg Jets have been on a hot streak, going 8-1-1 in their last ten games, defeating tough opponents like the Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes, and Colorado Avalanche. They are asserting themselves as top Western Conference contenders, and they'll look to continue their success after the holiday break.

As seen on The Hockey Writers - Jets' Gabe Vilardi One-on-One: Overcoming Early Career Adversity
December 26   |   193 answers
Gabriel Vilardi Opens Up on Great Success Following Return From Injury

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Pierre-Luc Dubois4824.9 %
Gabriel Vilardi14575.1 %
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