Oilers assign Benson and Samorukov to Bakersfield, Yamamoto injured

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

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.

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2013-14 Vancouver Giants WHL 7 0 0 0 0 -1
2014-15 Vancouver Giants WHL 62 14 31 45 55 -1
2015-16 Vancouver Giants WHL 30 9 19 28 46 0
2016-17 Vancouver Giants WHL 33 11 31 42 31 -3
2017-18 Vancouver Giants WHL 58 27 42 69 39 -1 7 3 8 11 10


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.

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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.

Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2016-17 Guelph Storm OHL 67 4 16 20 41 -24
2017-18 Guelph Storm OHL 62 11 23 34 29 -10 6 0 2 2 6


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.

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Regular Season Playoffs
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A Pts PIM
2014-15 Spokane Chiefs WHL 68 23 34 57 50 12 6 2 3 5 6
2015-16 Spokane Chiefs WHL 57 19 52 71 34 20 6 1 4 5 10
2016-17 Spokane Chiefs WHL 65 42 57 99 46 14
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers* NHL 9 0 3 3 2 -2
2017-18 Spokane Chiefs WHL 40 21 43 64 18 22 7 1 3 4 6
NHL Totals   9 0 3 3 2


Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Twitter Account, 4/6/2018 – 9:32 am MST

    • LAKID

      Don’t worry much Yamo might get a few to to many games in the NHL but he is to small and won’t stick. The proof is he can’t even join the Condors. Yammy is to small and has no balls. Benson has made it to Bakersfield and we will see.

      • Oilerchild77

        Uhhhhh…. You just gave almost the opposite of what scouting reports say about him. While heis small, Yamamoto DOES have balls. He isn’t afraid of contact whatsoever. What player were you watching?

      • OilerForLife

        A very poor assessment of the situation. Firstly, Injuries happen to every player who plays this game, and this is absolutely no indication whatsoever of his character, or his chances of becoming an NHL player. Benson is now over his injury problems, and now he’ll be able to develop his game, and it’s probably more a matter where he eventually fits in an NHL lineup, rather than if.
        Good Grief ! Where do you get this stuff

      • LAKID

        Come on haters it’s the truth and Chia just threw away another #1 pick in the trash, Wake up. Bad pick bad management and scouting. Yamo will not even make it out f the AHL alive. Too Small!


    I’ll be curious to see how Yamamoto fairs for a full season in the AHL next year. And I do mean a FULL year. Don’t keep him in the bigs after training camp. If they let him develop slowly then I think he has an excellent shot at being a long time, productive Oiler.

  • What-a-Mike

    Yes…. just heard…. several deaths I’m hearing with hockey team bus getting slammed by semi truck transport. Team of adults and junior A kids from Humboldt involved. My sincerest condolences and prayers out to them and their families big time. Hockey takes a back seat to this type tragedy and life every day I tell ya.

  • NewPants

    One of the problems with the farm team is they don’t play the young prospects enough, win or lose (mostly lose anyway). It’s good to see these guys go to Bakersfield but I hope they play them.

  • 24% body fat

    for the love of God leave Yamo in junior. He needs to stay healthy among boys first and dominate a full season. Pushing his pro career back a year may also help with not having to protect him in expansion.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      Not sure that would be the right decision. Maybe, maybe not. I think young players need to experience progressive increases in competition and responsibility. Pressure makes diamonds. Being right on the edge of one’s capabilities is the recipe for improvement, not just in hockey either. Another year in CHL (if he’s even eligible) might stall his development. Too easy, too comfortable. Where would the motivation to improve come from when one can get by on talent alone (CHL)? Compare that to Pro hockey (AHL, or NHL), where talent + hard work is required to compete. For the love of Gord, pro hockey next season for Yamo.

      • lee

        If he has to go back to junior maybe the team should send him to Europe to play in the men’s league, I’m surprised more teams don’t do this. It’s not the NHL but its way better than junior.

  • Hermanic

    need a farm team and an organization, and for the love of God! Can we somehow remove Drew Remenndas potatoe head analysis as hes interuppting the play by play and then analyzing the replay with his own infinite wisdom??? I turn down the volume which is sad

  • lee

    A bit concerning about Yamo, he has picked up quite a few injuries this year, next season the players are much bigger and the going will be tougher.
    This is why I would shy away from any d man in the draft that is 170lb’s or less.
    How are they supposed to deal with players like Thorton or Getzlaf.
    Size does still matter, in the west.