Winnipeg Jets Coach Provides Major Insight On The Return Of Gabriel Vilardi

Tyler Ball
November 20, 2023  (4:58 PM)

Gabriel Vilardi has not played a game for the Winnipeg Jets since October 17th. Today we got some major new insight from a Jets coach on his looming return.

Jets Coach Gives A Timeline For A Vilardi Return

Today Winnipeg Jets assistant coach Scott Arniel was asked about Gabriel Vilardi. When asked if Vilardi could get into a game on the Jets current road trip Arniel had some intriguing comments.
There's a good chance he might. Biggest thing is that was his first real, I know he's been out on the ice doing some shooting/conditioning stuff here, but that was his first one with all the guys, getting in line rushes, being in a situation where he may have to shift his weight, maybe happen to run into somebody. He'll do a little bit more of that as this weeks goes on and then we'll see how he is.
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While this doesn't confirm or deny that Vilardi will return on the road trip it does seem as though he will get every opportunity to try. Vilardi was one of the players with the most hype surrounding them heading into Winnipeg's season. Getting him back could be a major boost for the group.
Once Vilardi does return he will have to find a place to slot in the lineup. Arniel was also able to give an update on this as well.

Jets Coach Provides Update On Vilardi's Place In The Lineup

After being asked about a timeline for Vilardi Arniel was then asked where Vilardi fits into the lineup.
«We'll just let it play itself out. When we look at things where we are when that game comes about when he's going to be back in the lineup, we'll just kinda sit back and look and figure out what that spot is.»

A follow-up was then asked whether or not Vilarid could see time on the wing with Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor after the trio succeeded in their time together.
«He's an elite six player. He's a top end player that had a breakout year last year. I know he has a skillset that he needs to play with top people. Whether that's with those guys or wherever it might be, we'll just kinda let things play out this week and kinda go from there. Whether he's with those guys or somebody else he's going to make that line better."

It sounds as though Vilardi's spot in the lineup has not been predetermined. One thing is for sure though the Jets have not lost confidence in Vilardi to go out and perform at a high level regardless of linemates.
Finally, Arniel was asked whether Vilardi could get an opportunity at center. He again left things up in the air for the moment.
«We'll look at them all. Maybe not his first game back throwing him in the middle might not be the best thing but he's always been an option for us through the middle of the ice. That's something he's done over his career so whether that happens right away or whether we don't do it at all we'll just kinda play that along.»

With Vilardi to be soon back in the fold the Jets will have some major roster decisions to make. Whatever they do decide it sounds as though Vilardi is a major part of their plans up front.
As Read On - Illegal Curve - Winnipeg Jets associate coach Scott Arniel says «good chance» Gabriel Vilardi «might» play on road trip
Winnipeg Jets Coach Provides Major Insight On The Return Of Gabriel Vilardi

Will Gabe Vilardi return at center or wing?

Center7643.7 %
Wing9856.3 %
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