Kailer Yamamoto, No. 17 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, plays for Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Yamamoto (5-foot-7, 153 pounds) finished sixth in the WHL with 99 points (42 goals, 57 assists) in 65 regular-season games during his third season with the Chiefs. The right-shot forward has offered to maintain a monthly draft diary for NHL.com leading up to the 2017 draft in Chicago. His May post comes after his second day at the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo.
Hello from the NHL Combine!
It's great to be back in Buffalo once again. I've been here before a few times playing in the USA Hockey National Selects Festival, but coming back this time is a lot more nerve-racking.
Instead of playing hockey I'm talking about myself. During this week at the combine I've interviewed with eight of the 26 teams I'll speak to here. They're asking me a lot of the usual questions you might think they'd want to know. They're asking about my family, what kind of player they think I am, what my strengths and weaknesses are, and a lot of other things like that. I haven't gotten any weird questions yet, but it's still early!
Doing the interviews is surprisingly hard, though. I was a little bit more nervous coming to the combine to talk to the teams than I was about doing the off-ice testing, but now that I'm here and the interviews are going well, it's gotten a bit easier. After I had my first interview I was able to settle down and become more confident in myself. The one thing I haven't been able to figure out is who might be most interested in drafting me because everyone seems to like what I've been saying.
Telling the teams about how my season with Spokane went has been good. We had a really young team and we started off the season really well, but I think injuries at the end really kind of hurt us and it kind of took a bit of a downfall for us. I think the players we had in our lineup at the end of the season, a lot of guys really stepped up and it's really looking good for us next season.
It's great to be here and hanging out with guys I've played with and against. It's awesome just being able to see them here and being able to just hang out with them and get some good laughter away from the rink, and not being against them and getting all mad at them. It's pretty special.
That's it for now though. I'll check back in at the end of the combine. Thanks for reading!