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Chiefs bolster lineup with return of Yamamoto
Larry Brunt

 

The Spokane Chiefs were given a huge boost to their lineup Monday as it was announced that Kailer Yamamoto would be returned to the club after a brief stint with the Edmonton Oilers.

Over the past three seasons, Yamamoto has been one of the most consistently productive players across the league, tallying 227 points (84G-143A) in 190 games. He also has 27 power play goals, three short-handed goals and 18 game-winning goals. In 12 playoff games, Yamamoto has 10 points (3G-7A).

A 5-foot-8, 155-pound product of Spokane, Wash., Yamamoto was a first-round selection (22nd overall) on the Oilers at the 2017 NHL Draft, had three assists in nine games with the NHL club. He was originally a fifth-round pick (105th overall) of the Chiefs in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

His return comes at a good time for the Chiefs, who at 8-7-1-2 are already in a fierce battle for playoff positioning in the Western Conference as well as the U.S. Division.

With 19 points, the Chiefs have the fifth-most points among Western Conference teams, but find themselves in a wild card spot heading into a tough 16-game stretch ahead of the holiday break. The good news is that 10 of those games are at home for the Chiefs, which should help in whatever adjustment period is needed for the 19-year-old.

The Chiefs are expected to have Yamamoto in the lineup for this Friday’s game on the road against the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The next home game for the Chiefs is Friday, November 17 (7:05 p.m. PST) as the Chiefs host the Victoria Royals.

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