The Kingston Frontenacs have made it clear to EVERYONE that they’re going for it this year. On January 1st they announced the acquisition of Sean Day and Gabe Vilardi from Windsor in exchange for young forward, Cody Morgan and a small pile of OHL draft selections (2nd, 3rd in 2020, 2nd in 2024, 2nd in 2025, conditional selections in 2023)
If you follow hockey prospects and the draft at all, you’ve heard of Vilardi. He’s the massive 2-way center that was considered the best OHL Player available for the 2017 entry draft. He was projected top 5, but somehow slipped to the Kings at #11. The 6’3, 200 pound, right-handed center had a big 61 point in 49 game campaign in his draft year. Gabe also displayed excellent 2-way play and defensive awareness to go with his scoring. He’s a team leader and is almost always the best player on the ice in every game he plays. There’s just 1 problem. He hasn’t played a game yet this season. A back injury suffered during the memorial cup has had him sidelined since May. Put that in perspective for a second here. It is January, and he’s been sidelined since May. He has not played a relevant game of hockey in over 7 months. There’s no telling if he is capable of being the same player that he was last season. If he’s back and he’s ready to roll, and he doesn’t skip a beat, then Kingston is on its way to a deep playoff run. If he isn’t, well, then at least they also got Day in this deal.
Sean Day is a guy who has bounced around a bit. He has everything that NHL teams look for in a defenseman. He’s a big boy, checking in at 6’3, 230 pounds. Day is known for his mobility, and puck movement. His 0.49 points per game is a good total for an OHL defenseman and shows him as an offensive contributor. These are the things the New York Rangers looked at when they selected Day with their 3rd round, 81st overall pick of the 2016 entry draft. Kingston obviously hopes that by adding another strong point generator on defense, they’ll be able to compliment Eemeli Rasanen(#59 Overall 2017).
Kingston has been having themselves an excellent season. They currently sit 2nd in the East Division with 42 points. That’s good enough for 4th overall in the Eastern Conference right now. They’ve been getting truly dynamic play from their 3 top scoring forwards: Nathan Dunkley (2018 eligible), Linus Nyman (2018 eligible) and Jason Robertson (#39 overall 2017). The addition of Day and Vilardi into this mix, assuming Vilardi can return to form could be the type of gamble that brings Kingston an OHL title. For the Kingston native, Vilardi, it could be the perfect end to the OHL chapter of his hockey career.