The Edmonton Oilers are looking just about everywhere for forward help as they try to climb back into the playoff race, and today will get some from within. Young forward Kailer Yamamoto has been activated from injured reserve and will make his return to the lineup tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. To make room for Yamamoto on the roster, Alex Petrovic has been moved to injured reserve.
Yamamoto has played just two NHL games since the end of October, and could be just the answer the Oilers need up front. Selected in the first round in 2017, the undersized forward has incredible offensive upside and has shown an ability to score at the minor league level this year. Starved for some speed and skill to keep up with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers could very well give Yamamoto every chance to prove he can stick at the NHL from here on.
If Yamamoto can’t get it done, it’s not clear where the Oilers will turn to get their much needed offensive boost. Recent reports had the team considering moving a “young developing forward” for help this season, and while many immediately assumed that meant struggling prospect Jesse Puljujarvi, there’s no telling how many teams have inquired on a name like Yamamoto or if the Oilers would even consider moving him.