Spokane Chiefs forward Kailer Yamamoto was selected 22nd overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft on Friday night in Chicago. The Spokane native is the sixth Chief to ever be selected in the first round of the NHL draft.
"They asked me if I wanted to be an Oiler and I said 'yes'," Yamamoto told reporters after being selected. "They showed confidence in me."
Yamamoto led the WHL’s Western Conference in scoring during the 2016-17 regular season, scoring a career high 99 points, which was the most among first-year draft-eligible players in the entire Canadian Hockey League, despite playing only 65 games. He was held without a point only 11 times all season and never went pointless in consecutive games.
The speedy forward finds himself in elite company as a first round NHL pick from the Chiefs, including notables Pat Falloon (1991; 2nd overall), Jared Cowen (2009; 9th), Brad Ference (1997; 10th), Michael Grabner (2006; 14th) and Ty Jones (1997; 16th). He is the first Chief ever selected by Edmonton.