The Edmonton Oilers need to get Kailer Yamamoto away from Leon Draisaitl
Photo credit:Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing3 months ago
Sometimes, you have to do what’s best for the team.
And what’s best for the Edmonton Oilers is separating Kailer Yamamoto from Leon Draisaitl. It’d be a tough sell as both players love to play with each other, but the truth is that one is affecting the other and that’s why the Oilers need to move Yamamoto away from Draisaitl.
Both of them are great players, just in very different ways. Draisaitl is a bruising forward with one of the best shots in the entire league. He creates space for himself and his linemates and is impossible to strip the puck from.
Yamamoto, meanwhile, is a speedy, shifty, and physical forward who excels at retrieving pucks. He isn’t the most offensively gifted player by any means, but is slightly above average when it comes to his shot and ability to set up teammates. Despite that, he’s not a great driver of player in either ends of the ice.
And truth be told, Yamamoto’s been a drag on Draisaitl’s numbers.
Here’s a look at Draisaitl’s 5×5 numbers and how they compare with, and without Yamamoto from last season.
|TOI with/without||CF%||Draisaitl CF% without||Yamamoto CF% without||GF%||Draisaitl GF% without||Yamamoto GF% without||xGF%||Draisaitl xGF% without||Yamamoto xGF% without|
The numbers are stark. When it comes to shot attempt share, Draisaitl’s numbers jump 5.61 percent without Yamamoto. His goal share jumps 3.64 percent. His expected goal share jumps a staggering 9.4 percent. These numbers are staggering when it comes to offensive output and alone should be enough consideration to move Yamamoto off Draisaitl’s wing.
I wonder if putting Yamamoto alongside Ryan McLeod on the Oilers third line would work. It could instantly become a tough-to-play against checking line given both players’ relentless work ethic. A physical body on the opposite wing like Warren Foegele could round that third line out nicely.
Meanwhile, it would make a ton of sense to put Jesse Puljujarvi on the second line alongside Leon Draisaitl. Similar to Yamamoto, Puljujarvi is a physical forward who excels at retrieving pucks and has a similar set-up ability as Yamamoto.
Puljujarvi was actually Draisaitl’s third most common linemate last season, and the numbers were tremendous.
|TOI with/without||CF%||Draisaitl CF% without||Puljujarvi CF% without||GF%||Draisaitl GF% without||Puljujarvi GF% without||xGF%||Draisaitl xGF% without|
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