Kailer Yamamoto

Edmonton Oilers
Photo courtesy of TheAHL.com

Fantasy Summary

A ton of offensive creativity packed into a tiny stature with the potential to be a top-line winger.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 9.0
NHL Certainty 8.7
Country USA
Position RW
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth September 29, 1998
Height 5‘8”
Weight 155 lbs
Drafted 2017 Round 1; Overall: 22

Observations

March 2020 – To say that Yamamoto has exceeded expectations since being called up in December would be an understatement. Since his call up, the young winger has recorded an impressive nine goals and 21 points in 21 games and does not look out of place on a line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the NHL’s leading point scorer, Leon Draisaitl. It is easy to assume that Yamamoto is reaping the benefits of playing with two strong NHLers and while it has definitely helped his transition, there have been games where Yamamoto is the best player on that line. The undersized winger was injured on February 23rd in a game against the Los Angeles Kings and is expected to be back in early March. It is important to note that his line has been far less effective without him and really speaks to the impact that he has made. Yamamoto’s skill and quickness are now translating to the NHL but it is his pace and constant compete-level that have really helped him overcome his size disadvantage and become an effective top-six contributor. Jameson Ewasiuk

January 2020 – Since turning pro last season it appeared that Yamamoto was kind of running in place developmentally. Like last season, the young winger has missed time this year to injury and his 16 points in 23 games for 0.70 points per game is not much different than the 0.67 he recorded last season. His lack of size limits his effectiveness at times and he does not exactly have game-breaking speed to make up for it. With that being said though he is smart and crafty and very good at drawing penalties. On December 29th the young winger was recalled and so far he has not looked back. He played his first NHL game of the season on December 31st where he recorded an empty-net goal and three shots in Edmonton’s 7-5 victory over the New York Rangers. What stood out positively in his first NHL showing of the season was his hockey sense, competitiveness and his ability to retrieve pucks in the dirty areas. The young winger has now played eight games this season for Edmonton and has recorded a solid three goals and six points. The sample size is small but he does not look out of place on a line with Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins. If Yamamoto can continue to improve offensively as well build confidence at the NHL level then he will be given every opportunity to stay in Edmonton’s top six. Jameson Ewasiuk

March 2019 – Yamamoto started out a little slow when he was sent down to Bakersfield in November recording nine points in his first 16 games. Since then, the young winger has eight points in his last 10 games and looks to be finding a groove offensively. With the Oilers shallow on quality forward prospects, there are big expectations for Yamamoto and the hope that he can develop into a top-six forward in the NHL. He has a chance to earn a spot on the Oilers next season another year in the AHL likely wouldn’t hurt at this point. Jameson Ewasiuk

November 2018 – After a strong preseason in which he recorded six goals and nine points in six games, Yamamoto looked poised to bring his skilled game to the NHL. Flash forward to November and the young winger has recorded just two points in 11 games, while playing in the top six for most of those games, and has been scratched in the last two. He has the skill and tenacity to play at the NHL level but his lack of size has definitely hindered his effectiveness at times. Despite his size, Yamamoto hasn’t hesitated to go to the dirty areas and has done a good job of drawing penalties. Adapting to the NHL is never easy especially for a player his size so the Oilers and their fans will need to be patient. Jameson Ewasiuk

June 2018 – After a brief nine game stint with the Oilers to start the season, Yamamoto was returned to the Spokane Chiefs on November 6th, 2017. Despite recording four points in his first game back in the WHL, the young scorer had a bit of a slow start to the season as he recorded just 12 points in 13 games before playing in the WJC for team USA. Yamamoto’s slow season continued as he recorded four points in seven WJC  games despite being expected to be one of the offensive leaders on the team. After his return from the WJC, Yamamoto terrorized the WHL offensively and finished with a stat line of 21 goals and 64 points in just 40 games. His performance in 2018 was outstanding and much closer to the numbers that he was expected to be producing. At just 5-8 and 155 lbs the obvious knock on the young American is his size, but his offensively skill set and compete level are undeniable. In today’s NHL smaller players like Johnny Gaudreau, Alex Debrincat and so many more are finding success and it’s not unrealistic to think that Yamamoto can be top six player in the NHL sooner than later. He is eligible to play in the AHL this season but with Edmonton’s lack of quality offensive wingers there is a chance that the dynamic Spokane Chief could find his way onto the Oilers roster on opening night if he has a strong training camp and pre-season. Jameson Ewasiuk

March 2017 – Yamamoto is a very small, very highly skilled prospect. What bodes well for Yamamoto besides his elite skill is his high compete level, willingness to play a physical game despite his size and that he has good hockey strength. He is very solid on his skates and can be difficult to push off the puck or knock down. He is very agile and elusive and can find holes and seams in defensive coverage that don’t seem to be available. His shot is deceptive in its release as it is quick, requires little wind up. His greatest asset is his offensive vision and hockey IQ, he sees the ice at an elite level, has eyes in the back of his head and thinks the game at a higher pace. Similar to Alex DeBrincat from 2016, Yamamoto will be this years undersized, high skill player that falls in the draft below where he should be selected. Pick him early in your fantasy draft if you can wait two or three years for the payoff. Peter Harling


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2007-2008 Western Selects Brick Invitational 5 4 4 8 4 |          
 2010-2011 Los Angeles Selects (Peewee) QC Int PW 2 1 2 3 0 |          
 2013-2014 Los Angeles Jr. Kings 16U AAA T1EHL 16U 34 17 23 40 14 |          
 2014-2015 Team Gold USA-S16 5 2 4 6 - |          
  Spokane Chiefs WHL 68 23 34 57 50 | Playoffs 6 2 3 5
  U.S. National U17 Team USDP 7 3 4 7 2 |          
  USA U17 WHC-17 6 3 3 6 2 |          
 2015-2016 Team Kelly USA-S17 5 2 3 5 2 |          
  Spokane Chiefs WHL 57 19 52 71 34 | Playoffs 6 1 4 5 10 
  U.S. National U18 Team USDP 9 7 7 14 12 |          
  USA U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup 4 4 3 7 14 |          
  USA U18 WJC-18 7 7 6 13 12 |          
 2016-2017 Spokane Chiefs WHL 65 42 57 99 46 |          
 2017-2018 Edmonton Oilers NHL 9 0 3 3 2 |          
  Spokane Chiefs WHL 40 21 43 64 18 | Playoffs 7 1 3 4
  USA U20 WJC-20 7 2 2 4 4 |          
 2018-2019 Edmonton Oilers NHL 17 1 1 2 2 |          
  Bakersfield Condors AHL 27 10 8 18 16 |          
 2019-2020 Edmonton Oilers NHL 27 11 15 26 12 | Playoffs 4 0 0 0
  Bakersfield Condors AHL 23 8 8 16 16 |          

Highlights