#39 – Kailer Yamamoto, RW – Spokane, WHL

TSN – #24
Central Scouting – #17 NAS
ISS – #26
Future Considerations – #15
McKeens – #24
THN – #24
Craig Button – #16
Hockey Prospect – #36


COMPARABLE : Artemi Panarin
UPSIDE : Top-6 Playmaking Forward
FLOOR : AHL All-Star


Generally speaking, wingers who are as small as Yamamoto (5’8″ – 146 lbs) who play a pure skill game don’t tend to stick unless they are a really special talent. Players like Brendan Gallagher, Cam Atkinson and Brian Gionta all have a bit of ‘bite’ to their game. Still, a lot has changed in the NHL in the past 5-6 years…no longer are smaller players so easily overlooked.

As a general rule though, most NHL teams will look for size and grit on the wings on their 3rd and 4th lines especially if that’s an element that is missing on their top 2 lines, so depending on who’s doing the drafting, how their team is made up can make a big difference. I don’t think there’s much doubt that Kailer Yamamoto is a 1st round talent skill-wise but will teams take the first round gamble on him knowing that he’s likely a “top-6 or bust” type of prospect?

Yamamoto is a quick and agile player with outstanding vision, creativity and playmaking ability. His comparable is Artemi Panarin as he plays that kind of style with outstanding offensive abilities. Will he reach that level? I’m not convinced but a good gamble to take as a mid-second pick.



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