The Colorado Avalanche have a lot of options in this year’s NHL draft based on trade scenarios and what pick they end up with; regardless, Kailer Yamamoto is an intriguing option for them to consider.
Drafting is a difficult process to do correctly, but the Colorado Avalanche will rely heavily on this year’s NHL draft for their rebuild process. One player they may consider targeting later in the first round — if they do trade their top pick — is a player like Kailer Yamamoto.
Here at MHS we explore every option in the NHL draft. For example, one option we’re talking about is a trade with the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes have two picks in the first round of this year’s draft, and one of those picks is guaranteed to be the 27th overall draft pick. The other one is yet to be determined, as all the lottery teams are waiting on Saturday evening’s results.
However, if the Colorado Avalanche end up with a higher draft pick than the Arizona Coyotes in the early part of the round, then the Avs should absolutely explore a trade.
This option has a lot of different routes for the Avs, and you can explore most of them in Nadia’s post about trading with the ‘Yotes.
I have one more option for the Avs to consider if they trade their pick with the Arizona Coyotes, or with any other team for that matter. For example, the St. Louis Blues will also have two first round draft picks in this year’s draft.
Kailer Yamamoto is an Exciting Player
NHL teams are wary of picking prospects who lack size. For example, if Kailer Yamamoto was taller and bulkier than his 5 foot 8 and 160 pound frame, he’d be a top ten draft pick, if not top five draft pick.
However, he lacks size. Even though a lot of players have proven size doesn’t matter in the NHL, there still seems to be some hesitancy around players who are missing it.
Kailer Yamamoto was sixth overall in WHL scoring this season with 99 points (42g, 57a). Not only did every player ahead of him in scoring play more games than him, but they’ve all already been drafted or are unlikely to be drafted as well.
Yamamoto has the talent to play at the NHL level and make a difference. However, teams will be hesitant to take a chance on him because of his size. I propose — if the Avs pull off some strange number of trades and end up with a pick near the back of the first round — the Avs take a chance on him.
Here’s what Future Considerations has to say about the young man:
"A pint-sized, yet dynamic, playmaker… small, speedy forward with excellent hockey sense and quick hands…has a strong work ethic that keeps him going…is a force in possession as he likes the puck on his stick, and is dangerous as a set-up man or shooter in the offensive zone…poised, clutch and aware…feisty on the forecheck, not physically, but uses his speed to force opponents into rushed plays while clogging up passing lanes with an active stick…one of those rare wingers who has the ability to affect the flow of a game like a center…a very special talent, high octane and cerebral."
Yamamoto may not have the size to push players around, but he lacks enough of it to take them by surprise.
The Colorado Avalanche have preached speed and skill as a desire moving forward. Why not take a chance on a player who oozes a ton of it, but just lacks the size most NHL teams are looking for?
Sure, you’re whole team cannot be made up of small players. But, sprinkling them throughout the lineup in strategic positions is not a bad idea. Kailer Yamamoto is also a right-hand shot, and has shown an ability to play every forward position.
Versatility is another important thing for forwards in this era of hockey. Yamamoto will go in the first round of this draft. The team that ends up picking him will be pleased with their selection. There is a chance the Colorado Avalanche end up as the team who chooses Yamamoto.
Personally, I would be completely alright with their selection if so.