Photo Source: Codie McLachlan/Getty Images North America
Terrible news came out of the Oilers camp today that Leon Draisaitl will miss tomorrows game against the Ottawa Senators. Fans were already in panic mode as Leon had been playing the number one right wing role so far this season questioning if the team would be able to manage without a solid top right winger behind him. Now we’re going to find out how it’s going to go in at least one game without him. The one guy I can tell you who is smiling ear to ear right now is Kailer Yamamoto, I can also promise you that Puljujarvi’s tongue is more than likely in his mouth with a frown because he’s down in Bakersfield during this time to shine.
Reid Wilkins tweeted out today that Yamamoto was practicing alongside Maroon and McDavid today. Now, this doesn’t guarantee that he starts tomorrows game on the top line. He probably will, but if he doesn’t, and things don’t start off, hot MacT will throw him up onto that line to try and get things rolling.
It’s interesting, Yamamoto has been bouncing all around since his stellar play in the preseason. During home opener, he played 10 shifts with only 6:33 of ice time and he didn’t register on the stat sheet. He was a healthy scratch last Saturday against the Canucks and fans were questioning why was Yamamoto up here when he could be playing top minutes in Spokane. He was in the lineup again against the Jets in that rachet Thanksgiving game on Monday. He was a minus one, sat in the penalty box for two minutes, and had four shots on net in 20 shifts over 11:53 of ice time.
You’ve gotta feel a little bit for him, he was subjected to that intense bag skate after that game. I’m sure he’s happy to be in Edmonton on an NHL team collecting a pay cheque, but he probably sometimes thinks about the fact he could be dominating the WHL right now.
With the injury news to Draisaitl and Jim Matheson tweeting out the scary concussion rumor I’m thankful that Yamamoto is still up here. He’s still searching for his first NHL point, and I think we could very well see it tomorrow against a tired Senators team that thrashed the Flames tonight. It’s Yamamoto’s time to shine tonight, keep an eye on the kid. What are your thoughts on him sticking with the big club? Do you think he can light it up? Share your thoughts with me @nooorzy.