The Bakersfield Condors will be without Kailer Yamamoto for the rest of their playoff run, as the Edmonton Oilers prospect underwent successful wrist surgery. Yamamoto is expected to be ready for training camp in September, but won’t get a chance to raise the Calder Cup this year.
There’s no doubt that this was a frustrating season for Yamamoto, who played just 17 games in the NHL and 27 in the minor leagues due to injury. He was held almost completely off the score sheet for the Oilers, recording just two points in his time at the highest level. This comes from a player who was drafted 22nd overall in 2017 based on his incredible offensive upside, and who even cracked the roster out of camp that year for nine games.
While no one ever gives up on a 20-year old first-round forward, Yamamoto is another Oilers prospect who will have to find some success next season. New GM Ken Holland absolutely must improve the Edmonton development team, and start turning these high picks into NHL contributors in the coming years. Holland understands that he can’t wait too long before getting the Oilers back to the playoffs, and players like Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi can—and perhaps must—be a big part of that return.