According to the Oilers official Twitter account, both Tyler Benson and Dmitri Samorukov have been assigned to the Bakersfield Condors for the remainder of their season. Kailer Yamamoto, however, will not join them due to an injury suffered prior to Spokane’s first-round playoff matchup.
Tyler Benson has had an up and down run in his junior career as injuries robbed him of large portions of two of his last three seasons with the Vancouver Giants, but hopefully, the bad luck is behind him as he just finished his best WHL season. This year, Benson was able to play the majority of Vancouver’s games after missing a few weeks early in the season to recover from injury.
Benson, the former second-round pick in 2016 (32nd overall), played in 58 games with the Vancouver Giants this season, amassing 69 points (27G, 42A) and 11 more (3G, 8A) in seven playoff games. Benson will not get his first taste of professional hockey as he is expected to be in the Condors lineup to close out their season.
Bakersfield will also be getting some help on the backend as defenceman, Dmitri Samorukov will be joining Benson in Bakersfield for their remaining five games. Samorukov was third among defenceman in scoring for the Guelph Storm in only his second OHL season.
Samorukov, the former third-round pick in 2017 (83rd overall), played in 62 games with the Storm this season, putting up 34 points (11G, 23A) and two more assists in six playoff games. Like Benson, Samorukov will get his first taste of professional hockey as the organization seems to be pivoting towards giving playing time to their younger players. Samorukov is expected to play in tonight’s game against the Manitoba Moose.
Unfortunately, the news isn’t quite as positive for Kailer Yamamoto as he will not be joining Benson and Samorukov in Bakersfield due to an injury suffered before the WHL playoffs. Yamamoto missed Spokane’s final three games after being banged up but did play, albeit not at 100%, in the playoffs.
Yamamoto, the former first-round pick in 2017 (22nd overall), had a crazy year that started off with him playing nine games with the Edmonton Oilers, a feat that no one would have predicted on Draft day, before going back to the Spokane Chiefs and also participating in the World Juniors tournament. After being assigned back to Spokane, Yamamoto had a slow start with the Chiefs but really poured it on after coming back from the World Juniors Tournament.
In 40 regular season games, the skilled forward registered 64 points (21G, 44A) and added another four (1G, 3A) in seven playoff games despite playing through injury. Moving into next season, Yamamoto will have an excellent chance to once again crack the Oilers opening night roster as they will look to solidify their top six. Whether or not that happens will depend greatly on what kind of moves get made in the offseason and how those new additions respond to the opportunity.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 4/6/2018 – 9:32 am MST