Source: Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers
Kailer Yamamoto has become the puppy of the Edmonton Oilers fan base, no it’s not because he’s youthful and has shaggy hair. It’s because he has been the biggest surprise of camp far and just like a child we want to keep him! I wrote a post that he had been silent to start off the first few days at camp and that we might have to issue an amber alert, that drastically changed once he played in preseason games. I’m sure you don’t need a reminder about all of the points and positive things he has done throughout camp, it’s beating a dead horse, everyone is writing about it.
Do you know what this entire situation reminds me of? Sam Gagner. The Oilers had the sixth overall pick at the 2007 NHL draft, they took 5’11 centreman Gagner. There were questions about his size at the time and if he was NHL ready. He came into camp and impressed by putting up points and doing everything Yamamoto is pretty much-doing right now. I wish I could find the stats for you from preseason, but it’s actually nearly impossible to Google them! I do however remember Sam cracked the roster as the youngest player in the league that year. The team was desperate to find their way back into the playoff picture and they couldn’t send down their new pivot with his performance. Sound somewhat familiar?
Other dot specialists on the team that year were Brodziak, Cogliano, Horcoff, Pouliot, Reasoner, Schremp, and Stoll. Sam had a solid rookie season putting up 49 points (13G, 36A) in 79 games, but he also was -21 on a team that was only 3 points out of a playoff spot. He was also only one point behind Horc for leading point-getter for centers on the team.While Sam had a solid campaign that year he at times couldn’t produce or come close to his rookie season and didn’t remain consistent when we needed him to. A handful of seasons later we’re still scratching our heads and asking, “What happened?” Some fans argue that he was rushed too soon, others think Sam was just wasn’t a good fit here. While the ship has sailed on Gagner I hope that we’re smart in how we develop Kailer. We don’t need to rush him, as weak as that right side seems…. does someone have
While the ship has sailed on Gagner I hope that we’re smart in how we develop Kailer. We don’t need to rush him as weak as that right side seems at times, does someone have Jagrs number? I say we give the kid his nine games if he keeps his foot on the gas pedal, but I really think he should have another season down in the WHL to continue to grow literally and figuratively. What are your opinions on the situation? Do you hope we keep him or send him down? Let me know by shooting me a tweet @nooorzy.