For the first time in a long time the Detroit Red Wings will be selecting within the top 10 at the NHL Entry Draft this summer. Currently holding the 9th overall selection, the team is almost certainly guaranteed to acquire an impact player, it’s just a matter of what type of player they covet most.
Winging it in Motown writer Kyle McIlmmuray makes the case in his latest article for the Wings to chance on highly-skilled, but undersized forward Kailer Yamamoto. The native of Spokane, Washington has been compared to Calgary Flames superstar Johnny Gaudreau, but even smaller. Standing at just 5’8" and weighing just 159 lbs, Yamamoto does not cut an imposing figure. What he does do well, however, is use his speed and agility to break free of defenders and create top-notch scoring chances for his linemates.
He’s a dynamic offensive player who has game-breaking capabilities in the WHL, but it remains to be seen if those skills can be transferred to the bigger, rougher pro levels. Whether the Red Wings take a chance on him remains to be seen, but don’t be surprised if they do. The Red Wings scouting staff has a history of valuing skill over size, it’s just a question of whether or not they feel Yamamoto tips the scales enough. Pun intended.