Edmonton Oilers: Yamamoto Will Benefit From Top-Line Minutes

EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 9: Kailer Yamamoto. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 9: Kailer Yamamoto. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

With Leon Draisaitl shelved with an injury, the Edmonton Oilers will give Kailer Yamamoto some time on the top line wing.

The 18-year-old hasn’t gotten too much ice time since cracking the opening roster, but now, he’ll be called upon to help fill Draisaitl’s void. And considering no one has stepped up to claim the open vacancies on the top-six RW, he has a lot to prove heading into Saturday’s match-up with the Senators.

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers /

Edmonton Oilers

Working alongside Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon, he will certainly play with linemates that match his style. Both of them are fast and able to make smart plays, and putting Yamamoto there will add more of an edge and factor to that top trio. Additionally, Yamamoto will be able to showcase his talents, and his style of play is one that complements his linemates well.

First off, even though he is young and still developing, Edmonton might as well give him more ice time. He is a speedy, smart winger who brings positivity and energy to the ice, and he also has great hands and the ability to shoot the puck. Taking this into consideration, he deserves time on the top-six, especially when he may only be up with Edmonton on a nine-game trial basis.

As he prepares to take on top-line duties, Yamamoto will have to take more shots. The Oilers haven’t gotten much production from their wingers beyond Draisaitl, and some of that stems from a lack of shots. Therefore, for him to succeed on that unit, he’ll have to shoot the puck more.

Also, he must emphasize his speed and skating, and show that he can keep up with McDavid. If he does this, he’ll be able to show that he belongs there, while also adding a lot of speed and hustle to that line. It’ll make that unit even more dominant, and in turn, lead to more scoring opportunities.

Next: Edmonton Oilers: Everything We Know About Draisaitl's Injury

Overall, Yamamoto will get his chance to shine but must bring everything he can to the table in order to succeed.