Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2017 NHL Draft prospect Gabriel Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 5 after leading the league with nine points in three games scoring four goals and five assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-4.
Vilardi recorded a trio of multi-point performances last week for the Spitfires who won all three of their games to keep pace in the competitive Western Conference standings where they remain in fifth place with a 39-15-5-3 record just two points behind the Owen Sound Attack. Vilardi and the Mastercard Memorial Cup hosts took full advantage of Sportsnet’s spotlight grabbing two wins against top-five CHL ranked competition including Thursday night over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Saturday afternoon against the London Knights both played before a national broadcast audience. Vilardi began the week earning first star honours with a goal and an assist in the 4-3 overtime triumph against the Hounds, then earned second star recognition contributing two assists in the 4-1 victory against the Knights. The OHL’s top ranked NHL Draft prospect elevated his play on Sunday with a career-high five points collecting his second hat-trick of the season as first star of a 7-1 win over the Sudbury Wolves.
A 17-year-old from Kingston, ON, Vilardi is playing in his second season with the Spitfires who chose him second overall in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. He is listed third overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting for the 2017 NHL Draft and competed in January’s Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City scoring a goal for Team Cherry in their 7-5 win. Vilardi currently has 28 goals and 31 assists for 59 points in 43 games and is the third Spitfire to earn the league’s weekly honour this season following teammates Michael DiPietro and Logan Brown.
Also considered for the award this week was fellow 2017 NHL Draft prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack who scored five goals and one assist for six points in two games, and Los Angeles Kings prospect Spencer Watson of the Central Division champion Mississauga Steelheads who scored twice with five assists for seven points in three games. In goal, rookie Matthew Villalta of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds posted a 2-0-0-0 record including a shutout victory making 64 saves for a goals-against-average of 0.50 and save percentage of .985.
2016-17 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:
Feb. 27 – Mar. 5: Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires)
Feb. 20 – Feb. 26: Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 13 – Feb. 19: Joseph Murdaca (Erie Otters)
Feb. 6 – Feb. 12: Spencer Watson (Mississauga Steelheads)
Jan. 30 – Feb. 5: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Jan. 23 – Jan. 29: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 16 – Jan. 22: Hayden Hodgson (Saginaw Spirit)
Jan. 9 – Jan. 15: Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds)
Jan. 2 – Jan. 8: Santino Centorame (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 26 – Jan. 1: Michael McNiven (Owen Sound Attack)
Dec. 12 – Dec. 18: Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)
Dec. 5 – Dec. 11: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Nov. 21 – Nov. 27: Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Nov. 14 – Nov. 20: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 7 – Nov. 13: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 31 – Nov. 6: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Oct. 24 – Oct. 30: Troy Timpano (Erie Otters)
Oct. 17 – Oct. 23: Max Jones (London Knights)
Oct. 10 – Oct. 16: Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers)
Oct. 3 – Oct. 9: Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)
Sept. 26 – Oct. 2: Joseph Raaymakers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 25: Matt Luff (Hamilton Bulldogs)