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BLOG: Chiarelli knew Yamamoto would turn heads

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager will assess the rookie winger day-by-day

by Paul Gazzola /

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli identified Kailer Yamamoto's potential before many others.

"I knew that he would turn some heads just from his skill package and compete," Chiarelli said to a crowd of reporters Tuesday. "He's deserved to be here at this time. He's an exciting player to watch because he's always making plays in every zone."

Chiarelli's praise did come with a caveat.

"Having said that, we all know the play picks up as the regular season starts," he said. "We'll assess him and that's what we told him day-by-day. He adapts well to increased tempo and increased heaviness. He's done it all through camp but we're assessing him day-to-day."

The 22nd-overall choice in the 2017 NHL Draft filed five goals and seven points during the pre-season. Chiarelli also commented on the possibility of beginning his entry-level contract.

"You do plan ahead a little bit once you start seeing that this guy might be in the lineup," said Chiarelli. "For me, if he's making an impact by the time we have to make a decision, then that decision gets a lot harder. But he's a good player and you work around it."

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