Leon Drasaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have created the next big star of the Edmonton Oilers?
Inserted to the wing on their trio, and Kailer Yamamoto had acceded to the status of offensive player of first importance before the suspension of the national hockey League (NHL) because of the spread of the COVID-19.
According to the main party, a large share of the credit for his improvement back to his companions trio.
“I knew that I belonged in the NHL, but, of course, play alongside Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes it all that much easier,” confessed the little attacker 21-year-old interview remotely with the network Sportsnet, Saturday.
Recalled from the american League (AHL) in December last year, Yamamoto has registered 11 goals and 15 helpers for a total of 26 points in 27 games before the break. This production of almost a point per game gives it the third rank among Oilers in this chapter, behind Draisaitl (1,55 pt/game) and Connor McDavid (1,52 pt/match). Nugent-Hopkins (0,94 pt/game) follows the fourth level.
During the six games that followed his recall of the Condors of Bakersfield, a subsidiary of the Oilers in the AHL, the young American has five points.
Yamamoto was able to “after three games,” he was going to be in Edmonton to stay there :” I was starting to have a very good chemistry with Draisaitl. This was huge for my confidence, ” he remembered.
The long-term work
Prior to his recall, the choice for the first round of the Oilers at the NHL draft in 2017 had scored eight times and amassed eight helpers for a total of 16 points in 23 games with the Condors. The previous season, he had totaled 18 points in 27 games in the AHL, but also collected two points in 17 games in the NHL.
“My first two years, I haven’t played as I wanted, told Yamamoto to justify this limited production, after a first trial of new games in 2017, before his removal as a junior. This year, it was much better. This helped me a lot being returned to Bakersfield to get my legs and my confidence, after having had an operation the year before. “
“There is definitely work behind the scenes, but I had already played sometimes with [Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins] in the previous years, so I knew a little back from the american League when I could make a game or not with them. Everything started to become natural. ”
Yamamoto has missed three meetings due to injury to an ankle prior to the pandemic of the new coronavirus, but had lost none of his touch on his return, as did the faith in its performance of all three points against the Predators in Nashville, and the harvest total of five points in six parts.
If he can maintain the pace of the recovery in the NHL, Yamamoto might well deserve a new contract lucrative enough. The young will become technically free agent with compensation at the end of the season 2020-2021, which will mark the end of its first business deal.