The 26-year-old, blueliner joins the club after spending the first half of this season in the ECHL with Savannah Ghost Pirates, where he played 10 games and contributed six points.
Born in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Vilio is now playing his third campaign of professional hockey after turning pro in 2021 with Atlanta Gladiators
Standing at 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighing in at 205lbs, Elijah has played two and a half seasons in the ECHL with Atalanta, Rapid City Rush, Norfolk Admirals and Savannah, where he has racked up a total of 45 points (17G, 28A) in 129 games.
The defender also spent four years at Trinity Western University, icing in 66 matches and scoring 56 points (20G, 36A), whilst helping the Spartans to back-to-back British Colombia Intercollegiate championships (2017-2018, 2018-2019).
Vilio was also named to the 2019-2020 Second All-Star Team and had the most points by a defenseman that year with 27.
LEFEBVRE ON VILIO
After reinforcing his defensive unit, Stars Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “There was a few reasons behind bringing Elijah in and at times, I think we have struggled to get pucks transitioned from our defensive zone to the neutral zone, so I think we needed someone to help with that.
“Also, someone who is a puck distributor, who can get it up the ice and breakout with the puck and he brings a lot of speed, which is maybe something we are a bit lacking on the back end.
“He has great offensive instincts but it also creates more internal competition that we need and with injuries and suspensions, we need those extra bodies around as well.
“He is going to improve our team overall and the biggest aspect for us is being able to transport the puck up ice quicker, so he will definitely help us with that.”
LeFebvre continued: “He has some good experience from playing in the coast and he played with Naas last year in Savannah and also Valentini too, so he has played with a few of our guys, so knows what to expect coming in.
“We hope it will be an easy transition for him and we look forward to having him in Dundee.”
Elijah will hopefully be available to make his debut in Belfast on December 30, pending international clearance and discussing that possibility, LeFebvre said; “It will be a good challenge for him having to play Belfast in his first game.
“That is always a tough building to go into and they are still the defending champions, no matter what has gone on this season.
“They are a good team and go from strength to strength so it will be a good challenge for the team overall but also for Elijah for himself and to show what he can do.”
You will be able to hear from Elijah very soon, in an exclusive interview on Dundee Stars TV.
Elijah’s career began back in 2015 with Aldergrove Kodiaks in the Pacific Junior Hockey League and over two seasons, he accumulated 53 regular season points in 75 games and also added five more in 19 playoff matches.
The Canadian also made one appearance for Surrey Eagles of the British Colombia Hockey League at the end of the 2016-2017 season before then joining Trinity Western University for the 2017-2018 campaign.
Vilio spent four years with the Spartans, scoring 20 points in his freshman year and winning the BCIHL Championship, before then winning it again the following year, whilst contributing 17 points.
In the 2021-2022 season, Elijah turned pro with Atalanta Gladiators and iced 50 times for the Georgia outfit putting up 23 points, before being traded to Rapid City Rush for a six-match stint.
Before the end of the campaign, he was then traded to Norfolk Admirals and made eight appearances for the Virginian side but would extend his stay into the 2022-2023 season.
Vilio then dressed in another 27 games for the Admirals before being traded to Savannah Ghost Pirates and after playing 28 times for them last year, he then re-signed and made another 10 appearances this season, before switching to Europe to join the Stars.
In his 13-year-career so far, Elijah has featured in 271 matches, recorded 52 goals, 102 assists and collected 163 penalty minutes, while also playing in 27 playoff games, where he tallied 13 points (5G, 8A) and 12 penalty minutes.
Vilio has also been on the same team as a few ex-Stars over the years, including; Carter Folk and Ryan Valentini in Norfolk, and also Spencer Naas and Spencer Dorowicz in Savannah.
Elijah will wear #88 for the Stars and you can sponsor his equipment for this season right now, click HERE.
To see Elijah’s career stats on Elite Prospects click HERE.
Featured image: Rapid City Rush.
Banner image: ECHL.