Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers assign Yamomoto, recall Malone

On Monday morning, the Edmonton Oilers announced the assignment of Kailer Yamamoto to the Spokane Chiefs in the Western Hockey League.

The Oilers also recalled Brad Malone from the AHL.

In nine NHL games, Yamamoto scored no goals and three assists and logged 15:10 of game time per night. He also held an impressive 59.92 CF%. Yamamoto showed well in his nine-game cup of coffee and didn’t often look out of position, and the assignment likely has just as much to do with contract numbers as it does with his development.

By assigning him to the WHL, the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 draft won’t have the first year of his entry-level contract kick in this year.

The Oilers never put too much pressure on KY while he was up in the NHL. He didn’t play his nine games consecutively, which likely played to his benefit. It gave him a chance to hang around the club for a while. As Matt Henderson pointed out yesterday, Yamamoto was second on the team in 5v5 shots per hour with 11.3 — second only to Yohann Auvitu.

With his limited use in the games he did play, it’s clear that he is best served back in the WHL. If the Oilers were giving him consistent top-six time and he was producing at a better pace than he did, I think it’s possible we saw him stick until the 40-odd-game mark.

The Oilers recalled Malone to fill his roster spot.

It’s his second stint up in Edmonton this year, as he got a three-game stint totalling seven shots and two PIM. He’s played in only 9:24 per game, which is 10 seconds more than his career average.

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector says that Chris Kelly — who came to the Oilers on a PTO and has been practicing with the team — is expected to be signed.

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 11/06/2017, 9:35am MST

    • Glencontrolurstik

      Which may have something to do with the play of the Oilers & team moral?
      I can see the top tier players looking to management for some support & this was all they gave them…
      Now they have some sense of “normalcy” maybe we can get on with it…
      Chris Kelly though, is not the answer….

      • Oilerchild77

        And brad Malone is? They essentially replaced a player who wasn’t ready for the NHL with one who is a career AHLer. That’s not really an improvement. At least Chris Kelly proved he could play at that level.

  • Clayton

    Right decision. He was only sticking around because the Oilers lack any depth on the wing. He showed he will be able to play in the NHL but certainly will benefit from playing another year in Junior where he will get a bigger role and a ton more ice time.

    • OilerForLife

      Playing over your head in the NHL teaches a player what he needs to learn, and keeping him there too long erodes his confidence. Now he can put in practice the areas he needs to improve with playing 20 minutes a game.

  • rivid

    This was a good decision. He is just not ready at the moment, let him have success back in jr’s. The question though is who is going to replace him. Is there anyone worth a call up at the moment?

  • Glencontrolurstik

    Chris Kelly,…. Nnooooooo!!!!! Give your head a shake Pete…
    I so hope Speck is wrong?
    Let’s save some money for when someone at least mediocre comes along?

    • TruthHurts98

      If they sign Kelly who couldn’t make any other team in the league, PC should be fired on the spot. He has made this team slow and it’s looking more and more like a top 3 draft team. Something needs to be done, he got fleeced in the Hall and Eberle trades not to mention Reinhart. Changes in the front office need to be made sooner than later before he trades Nuge for nothing.

    • OilerForLife

      Every team needs penalty killers, most of them come across as boring players, but the Oilers are in desperate need of them. I’m sure his addition will help this side of the special teams. Sure- try to find a better one, but don’t make a mistake trying to find somebody in haste.

  • Druds

    This pile of poo lands on PC. The price he paid for Larsson was steep but you could argue its was needed but the Eberle for Strome deal is a disaster. There is no viable RW on this team and that’s all on him.

    • Hockeyfan6778

      When you look at Duchenne trade it shows pc is not in tune with market. I know it’s hard comparing a center to a winger but still. Should of gotten much more then a slightly above average defenceman for a young star winger

      • OilerForLife

        The GM’s on the other teams wants young up and comers like Nurse. Maybe the asking price was too steep. They just got to keep plugging away and win as many games as they can until Sekera gets back.

        They should try to acquire a top notch right winger with 2 way abilities, without creating a weakness somewhere else in the lineup. We have a lot of draft picks on the table that could be offered up and should gain value as this year progresses.

        The regression of a lot of players, based on last years production has been the major disappointment of this season so far. I’m shocked with the results of this season so far, and the bright light at the end of the tunnel has been all but snuffed out.

  • Gaz

    I’m getting really worried that PC is going to do a Klefbom for Kreider deal, or something along those lines.

    I’ll give him credit, it takes guts to make big moves, the type that he’s made in Boston and Edmonton…but unfortunately I don’t see a ton of evaluation and skills assessment behind the moves. Guts and brains = killer combo…I just think he might be a bit light in one of those areas.

    • TruthHurts98

      When you see what Sakic got for Duchene we all realize how bad these trades were for the Oilers. I cringe thinking how bad the future ones will be with PC still at the helm.

      • Gaz

        My favorite bit was when I heard on the radio (can’t recall if it was the lunchtime show on 630 or 1260, but given the apologist nature it was probably 630) was that the Oilers didn’t even have Barzal at #16 when they traded the pick for Reinhart. Like, it was some sort of mitigating factor that they would’ve passed on a promising (and quickly materializing) player if they held the pick.

      • OilerForLife

        Oilers are in a catch 22 now- they can’t trade anybody now without losing the trade, because everybody is playing poorly. They don’t do something, this circus may continue.

  • Roberto

    With all the assets Chia had when he inherited this team, things aren’t looking good. I don’t give Chia credit for the Talbot deal, as that one was basically already done thanks to slats. Same with Kassian, an obvious deal to make. The only real “Win” trade was Maroon. I still consider Jultz trade a win as well, as he had to go, but a monkey could have seen that and got rid of him for nothing as well. Hall for Larsonn might have been necessary and took guts, while arguably he should have gotten more in return, but I’ll call it a draw. So one trade where Chia deserves credit.

    Bad decisions: Reinhart, taking Benson over Debrinkat, Lucic contract terms, Russell contract term, Pouliot buyout – why?, Eberle for Strome (I’m glad eberle is gone but not for Strome), Gustavson signing, basically everything he did this summer other than McDavid’s deal (Drai’s looking overpaid at the moment).

    Chia seemed to slightly lose every deal, but was masked with success because the Oil had McDavid. I hate to say it but the Oilers could have Debrinkat, Barzal and Ebs in the lineup without subtracting anything of significance.

    • OilerFanExiledinCalgary

      Eberle – 0.75 pts/game career avg.
      Duchene – 0.73…

      Are centres really worth that much more?? And I didn’t like the Reinhart deal when it happened and it really hurts now. Chia, when you see Snow’s number on the call display please do not answer the phone!!

      • Hockeyfan6778

        Yea mctavish And Lowe were the worst and oilers were smart to finally get rid of them. I still think Todd is a good coach though he cannot seem to win a cup. The problem is chia now. He ruined Boston with terrible signings And trades now is doing it to Edmonton. I guess allot of managers didn’t know hall was even available just like dougie Hamilton when he traded. Too much panic trading

        • Mr.Snrub

          Get rid of them? Mac T is senior vice president of Hockey operations and K-Lowe is basically God Emperor of the entire Oilers entertainment group and is still deeply involved in hockey ops according to Bob Nicholson.

      • Roberto

        I agree, but MacT and the others responsible for the DOD are still very much around and involved in things… Whether we are led to believe otherwise or not. Unfortunately they aren’t going anywhere. In a normal organization they’d be gone in 2008 or so….. They’ll be here forever. Fire Chia and Todd and then what? Tippet or someone along those lines makes sense, but this is the Oilers, so I wouldn’t count on a move that makes sense…. I’d count on the Old Boys Club

  • With Yam out and Slepyshev injured, the lines and depth go how now? My guess is:
    Maroon – McDavid – Draisaitl
    Lucic – Nuge – Strome
    Caggiula – Jokinen – Kassian
    Malone – Letestu – Pakarainen
    Kelly – Khaira

    Strome is not a top 6.
    Jokinen is really a 4th liner.
    Kassian is a better difference-maker on 4th line.
    Draisaitl should be anchoring the 2nd line but there’s no one to play an effective 1RW.

    Essentially, the forward line up has at least 1/4th out of an ideal position to make a difference against other teams.

  • Jaxon

    Hopefully, Spokane and Vancouver will trade Yamamoto and Benson to the Regina Pats so they can go to the Memorial Cup this year (they host). Or maybe to a contender like Draisaitl was (Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Victoria, or Portland). Skinner, too.

  • the reasonable person

    I don’t particularly want to crap on Yamamoto but 3 assists in 9 games with the line he played on is not good at all and is likely the worst point-per-game percentage of any of Connor’s NHL line-mates to date.

    I’m starting to see the issues this team has and it’s painful, especially since the issues were preventable.

    How is Jokinen/Strome/Kelly?! better than Eberle/Pouliot/Hendricks? Especially now that it’s clear we need a scoring RW, a better penalty kill, and some better leadership. Those 3 departed guys, in hindsight, would help what’s going on right now a lot.

    Also extremely disappointed with Khaira, who I was once afraid of losing to Vegas. And imagine if we had Barzal, Brandon Carlo on D, and DeBrincat on Connor’s line with Maroon and Drai centering Lucic and RNH or something like that? Could have all that, easily.

    Finally, the Duchene trade appears to show that Chia could have got way more for Eberle but in some fairness to Chia, Oilers could not afford Eberle after this year and everyone knew that, whereas the situation in Colorado was just Duchene wanting out. I don’t think they had no cap room for him after this season but correct me if I’m wrong.

    • RJ

      Duchene’s request should have bottomed out his trade value but kudos to Sakic for holding out for his asking price. At the same time, if those picks don’t hit, then they gave up a quality player for nothing. We will know in four years.

      As for Eberle, people seem to forget that we are right in the middle of his prime time. It’s early in the season and the games don’t get tough until later in the season. He was brutal in the playoffs.

  • Dean S

    Ty Rattie is doing really well in Bakersfield. He skates well and is the RW that can score (leads Condors). Could be the speed/scoring we are lacking. Might be a good time to give Nick Eliis his opportunity too, he’s playing the best hockey of his career (0.929 sv %). Especially till Talbot sorts thing out.