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BLOG: First goal feels

As Kailer Yamamoto comes down from the high of scoring his first career NHL goal, his teammates can't help but be excited for the 20-year-old rookie

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB - There's a first for everything.

But there's nothing quite like scoring your first National Hockey League goal, which rookie Kailer Yamamoto did Thursday night in great fashion.

The winger corralled a stretch pass at the offensive blueline, transitioning to the net in swift motion then shelving the puck top corner on goaltender Jaroslav Halak in the Oilers 3-2 overtime win versus the Bruins.

Yamamoto was in visible disbelief during his celebration, rallying with his teammates who were just as excited for the 20-year-old.

Video: RAW | Kailer Yamamoto 10.19.18

"My reaction was a little bit funny," the rookie said after he re-watched the goal. "I looked a little bit surprised."

Yamamoto is still buzzing from the bingo and was lucky enough to share the moment with his parents who were in attendance.

"It still feels amazing. Right after the game, I went and saw my parents, they actually came down for the game so it was really cool."

Darnell Nurse remembers the first time he lit the lamp. It came on Oct. 27, 2015, after the defender received a pass within in his own blueline then turned up ice and blistered a snapshot bunk and out on the road against Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild.

That goal is still Nurse's fondest memory during his tenure in the League, so the defender understands the elation Yamamoto is feeling.

"I think I screamed a little louder than he screamed last night," Nurse, comparing his goal celebration to Yamamoto's, joked. "It's one of the best feelings you have. As a kid growing up, obviously your dream is to play in the NHL but to be able to score a goal is probably the best feeling I've had. 

Video: RAW | Darnell Nurse

"We're really happy for Yamo and you could see the excitement on his face. It's great to see him walk in here with his head up high and his chest out. I had to pop his head out a little bit but it was great to see."

The Oilers veterans have welcomed Yamamoto into the dressing room with open arms. From when his stall was nothing but a foldable chair in the middle of the room to now, the young skater has his teammates rallying around him.

"It can't be because he's smaller, he's got a big heart," Nurse quipped again, this time about why the players are excited for Yamamoto. "He's just such a great kid. He comes in and works hard every day. He has that infectious smile and he's a young guy coming into the League. 

"We all go through it and everyone just revolves around the young guys."

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