After being selected in the first round, 22nd overall by the Edmonton Oilers, Kailer Yamamoto may end up back in the WHL this season. That isn’t a bad thing, he still needs to add height and weight to his 5’8” 150-pound frame. Another year with Spokane could help provide that.
He could also have a huge season to where he could potentially post more than 100 points for the first time in his career. For instance, in 2014-15, Kailer put up 57 points in 68 games during his first season in Spokane. He then upped that number to 71 points in 57 games in 2015-16. Last year he really broke out with 42 goals and 57 assists for 99 points in 65 games. So it wouldn’t be too surprising to see him eclipse the 100 point mark and lead the CHL in points, that is if Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick manage to stay in the NHL this year.
Kailer Yamamoto Will Need Another Year in Junior
During his time in the WHL, Yamamoto has scored 84 goals and 143 assists for 227 points in 190 games. HE has put up an amazing 1.19 points-per-game average. What really helped Yamamoto’s play was the fact he also played for the U17 and U18 United States Development teams in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively. His play in the CHL and USDP was recognized when he was invited to the USA U18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament. In that tournament he posted seven points in four games.
Kailer Yamamoto had even more tournament success when he won a Silver medal during the 2014-15 U17 World Hockey Championships. And a Bronze medal in the U18 World Junior Championships. During the World Junior tournament, he also had the most goals with a total of seven. He was selected in the fifth round of the WHL Bantam Draft. Now Yamamoto has moved into the first round of the NHL Draft. This shows how far he’s come along as a player in a short period of time.
With one more year in the WHL, which is where he will likely land for the 2017-18 season, Yamamoto is likely to continue to improve and develop. Even if he doesn’t make the Oilers the year after, the AHL will also help him get used to the pro game if need be. So with Kailer Yamamoto’s past stats in mind and how he keeps progressing every season, he’s definitely due for a 100-plus point season. Another thing that will help him reach this breakout performance is teammate Jaret Anderson-Dolan. Anderson-Dolan was selected in the second round by the Los Angeles Kings. It is also unlikely that Anderson-Dolan will make the NHL this season.
I don't know if he's big enough for the NHL. But I like he's got a quick release. Doesn't need the puck long.https://t.co/jfO4ndXVDw
With Yamamoto steadily progressing and having the drive to put up an amazing campaign to impress the Oilers; along with Anderson-Dolan still in the fold, he has everything in his tool bag to put up a tremendous season. He could really take a huge step forward in the WHL. However, for the sake of making it to the pros, the first thing he needs to focus on is adding size and strength.