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NHL Draft

2017 Draft Diary: Kailer Yamamoto

Spokane right wing confident his team will get on track; excited for World Juniors next month

by Kailer Yamamoto / Special to

Kailer Yamamoto, an A-rated right wing on NHL Central Scouting's players to watch list for the 2017 NHL Draft, plays for Spokane of the Western Hockey League. Yamamoto (5-foot-7, 153 pounds), now in his third season in the WHL, has 16 goals and 30 points in 19 games. The native of Spokane, Wash., has offered to maintain a monthly draft diary for leading up to the 2017 draft in Chicago. Yamamoto's second post comes in the midst of an eight-game point streak (nine goals, 14 points).

Hello hockey fans.

Right now we're playing .500 hockey (7-7-5). I think we all were expecting a bit more but it's definitely a process with our younger guys. We're trying to be patient and just keep working harder every day.

I've been having some success but I think just having my teammates around me and the players I've been playing with have been helping me out a lot and I think just getting to the net and shooting the puck more has also played a big part. In year's past, I wasn't shooting the puck a lot and this year I finally figured out that if you shoot, you can actually get more opportunities so that mindset has helped.

I'm a big believer that the bigger the situation the more you want the puck so I definitely feel that when the game is on the line I want the puck. The plays have been going my way and I've been fortunate to score some goals.

I know it won't be long before we start talking a lot about the World Junior Championship since most of the select camps are a month away. Being able to participate in the National Junior Evaluation Camp for Team USA in Plymouth, Michigan, in August was great. Wearing the crest of your nation is an unbelievable feeling. I took a lot away from that camp. There were a lot of great players and coaches and I learned a lot. I think it's helped me this season in Spokane and I'm just hoping I can get an invite to Team USA select camp in Buffalo (Dec. 15-20), showcase myself and make the team.

If I got invited to select camp, it would be a dream come true. But I realize after that, you have to keep working to make the team so my sights aren't just to make the camp but make the team as well. I'll keep working and hopefully it will turn out well.

The World Junior [Championship] is definitely something me and my family watch every holiday. We always have the channel on for the games and like to see how good the players are so it's definitely surreal to think I could be on one of those teams come December. It's a tournament I've always watched with my friends.

Thanks for reading everyone and have a great Thanksgiving.

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