20

Happy birthday, Kailer!

Today, Kailer Yamamoto turns the tender age of 21 years old.

Now with the Bakersfield Condors he’s able to buy a beer in the states!

Drafted in the first round of the 2017 draft, Yamamoto has been a slow developer for the Oilers but has come to be one of my favorite young prospects in the system. Known for his small stature and shifty footwork, he’s a player the Oilers will rely on as an offensive threat in the future.

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This is going to be a big year for him in the AHL with a group that I wrote about just yesterday.

Given his draft pedigree as a 22nd overall pick, there’s the expectation that he’s going to be a weapon for the Oilers in years to come. He has a skill set that Edmonton has lacked in a while — small, skilled, speedy.

He’s already had a cup of coffee with the Oilers in each of the last two years totaling only a goal and four assists in 26 games. Playing just under 14 minutes a night, he’s been a strong play driver with a 55 CF% and an xGF of 55.8% all the while having a low PDO of 94.6.

This is good news for Yamamoto who has done a good job in a short amount of time.

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He still needs more seasoning and coming off a wrist injury we didn’t get a chance to see him in any preseason action, but he lit it up in his first hockey action this year. Friday night he potted two goals and an assist in an 8-3 Condors preseason win.

No worse for wear, though, as he was able to score on a beautiful backhand goal and another on a wrap-around.

At 21 years old, there’s really no need to rush him into NHL action soon, but he’s a player that shouldn’t have any issue putting up a point per game in the American league this season. He also very well could find himself up in Edmonton this season, too.

On Twitter: @zjlaing

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