Bumped this week because of the draft, but the sun always shines with Saturday Sunshine even on Sunday.
In last week’s inaugural Saturday Sunshine, we looked at the young NHLer going into his second year as a full-time Oiler, JJ Khaira. The arrows all point up with him. The exact same thing could be said about this week’s sunshine, so let us turn on that delicious Saturday Sunshine theme song and bask in some Kailer Yamamoto.
I promise I was thinking of having our 19-year-old right winger in waiting before the exalted and wise Dustin Nielsen took some time this week to write about and rank the Oilers top-10 prospects. Having this to say about young Yamamoto:
Yamamoto impressed the Oilers during his brief stint with the club last season. After struggling early in his return to Spokane Yamamoto took over offensively in the second half of the year.
The Oilers love him because he thinks the game at an extremely high level. I’d expect Yamamoto to get another extended look in the pre-season, possibly into the regular season.
If he spends the majority of the year in the American Hockey League he should be given the ice-time and opportunity needed to hit the 50 or 60-point mark.
Couldn’t have said it better myself, although I’ll try. The knock against Kailer has been his size, but it’s safe to say in his early games with the Oilers last year he showed that the size he gives up to NHL sized players is not going to be a reason to hold him back moving forward.
Admittedly his transition back to the Junior this year, and subsequent “banging up” at the World Juniors with this gutless cheap shot at the end of a loss to Sweden being the icing on the cake:
Kailer then went on a torrential pace. He picked up the WHL player of the week honours for January 22nd to 28th for his ten point week in four games. He ended up playing 40 games with the Chiefs and amassing a total of 64 points over that span. Unreal to see a player have a slow start doing that after coming back from an injury. Chris the Intern wrote about all the records Yamamoto is and was chasing in Spokane.
Some lofty competition there for young Kailer including Oilers legend Pat Falloon.
Another year under his belt in Spokane and racking up the points in the WHL has set Kailer up for a real push to take the right wing positioning from his camp onwards. The Oilers have a hungry kid ready to prove people wrong and make the teams that didn’t take him regret missing out. Lest we forget this quote from his draft year:
With confidence like that,
Kailer Yamamoto is definitely a positive.