Jets Avoid Arbitration, Sign Newly-Acquired Forward to Multi-Year Deal


The Winnipeg Jets have avoided arbitration with one of the key pieces they received from the Los Angeles Kings in the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade. Gabe Vilardi has inked a two-year deal worth $6.875M. 

It's a $3.4M AAV for Vilardi, who enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Kings, netting a career-high 23 goals in his fourth year in the NHL. He added 18 assists for 41 points in 66 games, and then went on to produce an impressive playoff performance as well, with two goals and two assists in five postseason contests. 

The Kings selected the Kingston, Ontario native with the 11th pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and he was a bit slow to develop, mostly due to years of injury troubles.

But he was finally able to get over the hump in '22'-'23, playing in 66 games. Vilardi was an offensive dynamo during his junior career in the OHL, with 68 goals and 157 points in 143 games. 

He's thrilled to be going to a team where he hopes he'll be able to move up on the depth chart. 

"Yeah, more opportunity, obviously," Vilardi said. "Last year I kind of played more of a bottom-six role. Hopefully, I just want to keep growing my game and getting better, and obviously helping the Jets however that is. I'm just excited to kind of get going there."

He'll likely get a chance to play a top-six role in Winnipeg.

Photo: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports