Los Angeles Kings forward Gabe Vilardi has been ruled out of the World Junior Hockey Championship, Team Canada announced on Tuesday.
Vilardi, the 11th overall selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, has spent a majority of the season sidelined with a back injury and on injured reserve with the Kings.
The native of Kingston, Ont. made his professional debut on November 29 with the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate Ontario Reign with whom he was assigned for a conditioning stint. In four games with the Reign, Vilardi registered an assist.
Canada plays its first pre-tournament game on Wednesday in Victoria when they take on Slovakia.
Canada opens it defence of their world junior title on Boxing Day against Denmark.