Vilardi (back) out of summer showcase - LA Kings Insider

Gabriel Vilardi is among those unable to participate in Canada’s World Juniors Summer Showcase camp, joining Owen Tippett, Justin Almeida, Jordy Bellerive, Josh Brook and Robert Thomas. Thomas, Tippett and Vilardi are all first round draft picks who have signed NHL contracts and would be locks to make Canada’s team if they’re made available.

I’ve heard the same thing after checking in — there doesn’t appear to be any alarm as it relates to Vilardi and his readiness for the upcoming season, where he’ll be given every opportunity to contend for a roster spot as a 19-year-old. In person, Vilardi looked terrifically fit at development camp and gave off the impression that he’s been putting the past year’s commitment to training to good use. In the off-season, it’s always preferable that players are focused more on adding strength than rehabilitating an injury; it doesn’t appear such a balance has been off-set. I haven’t sensed any sort of grave concern with this issue.

If Vilardi (2017 1st round) makes the Kings out of training camp, his chances of playing at world juniors would be significantly reduced. If Vilardi doesn’t make the Kings, he’d have to be returned to the OHL as a 19-year-old, and would figure into a starring role with Canada at the tournament, which will be held in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. from December 26 – January 5.

The Kings still have Akil Thomas (2018 2nd round), Jaret Anderson-Dolan (2017 2nd round), Markus Phillips (2017 4th round) and Matt Villata (2017 3rd round) representing Canada at the showcase, which is used as a mid-summer evaluation tool in advance of the annual tournament. Mikey Anderson (2017 4th round), who earned a bronze medal with the United States in the 2018 tournament, is in camp with the United States’ White Team. Returnee Rasmus Kupari (2018 1st round) is participating in the summer showcase with Finland, for whom he could, ultimately, play in three different World Junior Championships.

-Lead photo via Bill Smith/NHLI

Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.