When the Edmonton Oilers placed Markus Granlund on waivers yesterday, it raised some questions over who would be recalled to fill his spot on the active roster. Those questions were answered today after Granlund cleared and was assigned to the minor leagues. Kailer Yamamoto, one of the team’s top prospects, will get another chance at the NHL level after being recalled today along with William Lagesson. Brandon Manning, who was also waived yesterday, has also been sent to the AHL.
The 21-year old Yamamoto has had short stints with the Oilers in each of the last two seasons, but is still looking to establish himself as a full-time NHL player. Selected 22nd overall in 2017, he has just five points in 26 games with the Oilers but has been better of late in the minor leagues. Due to injuries he has been limited to just 50 AHL contests in his short career, scoring 34 points.
While there are still high hopes for Yamamoto, the question now becomes whether he can develop into the kind of top-six option the team desperately needs to find. Edmonton has relied so heavily on their top few forwards this season and are still getting almost nothing from the rest of the roster. Zack Kassian’s 26 points in 38 games are good for third on the team in scoring, while other names like Alex Chiasson have been extremely disappointing.
It’s not just Yamamoto that will bring some excitement to the NHL team though. Lagesson too has become an interesting prospect for the Oilers after being selected in the fourth round way back in 2014. After a year in the USHL, two at UMass and one in Sweden, it was a long road for Lagesson to join the Oilers’ organization before last season. He was worth the wait though, as he recorded 27 points in 67 games for the Bakersfield Condors, while racking up a +25 rating (the highest among defensemen).