Grand Forks – – One prospect who’s opened a lot of eyes here is Kailer Yamamoto. The Spokane Chiefs right winger just finished his second season where he amassed 71 points in 57 games. He had 5 points in 6 playoff games. Now playing in the U18s for Team USA he’s locked and loaded. He’s been paired with 2016 draft eligible center Logan Brown and he’s seen some playing time with top 10 hopeful, center Clayton Keller.
“Just staying positive is key,” Yamamoto said about not getting down when his team stuggled at times. “When you have Keller on the bench some of them have to go in. It’s always good to stay positive and keep shooting. Some of them will eventually go in. Keller is a shifty player. He’s unbelievable. His puck sense, his shot. He has it all right now.
“That guy, I don’t know how he does it on the bench.. I’m still speechless from the game right now. From what he’s done out there (referring to his two-goal game).”
Yamamoto is 2017 draft eligible. He has a scrappiness to him that makes him play bigger than the 5-8 that’s listed. He’s already having an offensive impact early in this tournament. He knew a young Russian goalie was having trouble with the speed of Team USA and took advantage of it on one of the goals he set up.
“I think once you take 40 shots you get a little bit tired. I think we took advantage of that. I think there’s a little bit of pressure but the coach does a good job of taking that away.”
He’s a smart kid. He understands the little nuances of the game very well at his young age.