According to Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Kings may end up moving Gabriel Vilardi at the trade deadline.
In his piece, Duhatschek notes that Los Angeles’ extreme depth down the middle could make Vilardi expendable. Not only do they have veterans like Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault, but they also have prospects like Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte, and Rasmus Kupari in their system, too. It is starting to look difficult for Vilardi to wiggle his way into a permanent spot, so it may be wise to use him as a trade piece.
The Kings have taken a big step forward this season and look to be moving past their rebuilding stage. At this time, they have a 20-15-5 record and are second in the Pacific Division. Although their division is very close right now, it seems possible that they could be a playoff team this spring. Could that lead the Kings to trade Vilardi if they are buyers at the deadline?
Vilardi has played just seven games with the Kings this season. In them, he has a goal and a minus-5 rating. When seeing as how he just had a 23-point campaign in 54 games last season, this was a disappointing start for the 2017 first-round pick. After being sent back down to the Ontario Reign, he has scored seven goals and recorded 16 points in 17 contests.
Alas, we will have to wait and see if the Kings decide to trade the former first-round pick.
Photo Credit: © Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports