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Oilers Sign Kailer Yamamoto

August 3, 2022, 10:15 PM ET [86 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Edmonton Oilers and Kailer Yamamoto have avoided arbitration and have come to an agreement on a two year deal worth 3.1 million per season. Yamamoto was set to have his arbitration date on August 7th.

The feisty right winger had a career year with 20 goals and 41 points in 81 games, averaging just under 17 minutes a game. Yamamoto is highly liked by the fanbase for his tenacious game and aggressive forechecking despite his lack of stature.

After a slow start to the season where the forward put up 7 goals and four assists in the first 32 games of the season, he came on strong in the second half with 13 goals and 17 assists in the final 49. Yamamoto is not an elite winger but he is an effective complimentary player that can play anywhere in the Oilers top six to great effect.

Ken Holland has had a good summer, not in bringing in new talent, but keeping the team that went to the Western Conference together without having to overpay any specific player, something the Oilers have been far too guilty of in the past decade. Yamamoto will still be an RFA at the end of this contract and it's a safe bet he will certainly at bare minimum perform at a 3.1 million dollar pace.

Now comes the tricky part. The Oilers still need to sign Ryan McLeod but including Slater Koekkoek as a 7th D man the Oilers only have $335,000 in available cap space (factoring in Mike Smith and Klefbom on LTIR). McLeod will only cost between 1-1.5 million as an RFA without arbitration rights but regardless the Oilers do not have the cap space.

The result will have to be a trade with Warren Foegele the likely odd man out in the forward group. Mattias Janmark being signed is a safe bet to replace the offense that Foegele brought.
Foegele is a fine player but at 2.75 million he is an expensive luxury and now teams know that the Oilers need to clear cap space. There is a decent chance here that whatever trade happens is not going to be one that wows the fans. The real wow factor will come in the saved cap space which will allow the team to be cap compliant and potentially still have the space to sign a UFA such as Sonny Milano or perhaps even Phil Kessel.

We are nearly looking at the Oilers complete team going into the 22/23 season. These final changes could happen quickly or things could again drag on into the coming weeks. We will see.
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