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BLOG: Yamamoto making his case

2017 first-rounder was the Oilers best forward Monday night against the Carolina Hurricanes

by Paul Gazzola /

EDMONTON, AB -  Kailer Yamamoto does not want to go away.

The 2017 first-rounder scored his fifth goal of the pre-season against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday and was one of the best Oilers in the 6-2 loss.

"He's kind of just steadily played his game," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "He got pucks out when he needed to, made plays, no glaring turnovers. I thought he managed his shift length well, where we had some other guys who milked it and went a little too long. Found a way to get to the blue paint and touch one in for a goal. It's been impressive to watch him."

Video: POST-GAME RAW | Todd McLellan

McLellan liked the play of the diminutive winger that he placed him on a line with Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon at one point, leaving a lasting impression on the bench boss.

"I'm excited about it," said McLellan. "The 18-year-old isn't supposed to step in and play but when he continues to open your eyes - and you wouldn't be asking me these questions if he didn't open yours - he deserves the opportunity to keep going."

McLellan went as far as to say he could see Yamamoto continuing with the big squad.

"I don't care who plays on our team," he said. "We need 23 guys to wear jerseys, whether he's 18 or 38, we want to win. It doesn't matter to me what their names are or how big they are, if they can get the job done then they should play."

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