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Spokane Chiefs’ Kailer Yamamoto selected No. 22 overall in NHL Draft

UPDATED: Fri., June 23, 2017, 8:31 p.m.

Spokane right wing Kailer Yamamoto (17) scores the Chiefs first goal of the night past Seattle goalie Rylan Toth (31) during the first period of a WHL hockey game in the Spokane Arena, Tues., Nov. 15, 2016. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane right wing Kailer Yamamoto (17) scores the Chiefs first goal of the night past Seattle goalie Rylan Toth (31) during the first period of a WHL hockey game in the Spokane Arena, Tues., Nov. 15, 2016. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
From staff reports

Spokane Chiefs forward Kailer Yamamoto was selected by the Edmonton Oilers No. 22 overall in the NHL Draft on Friday at the United Center in Chicago.

Oilers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Peter Chiarelli made the announcement of the pick, with hockey legend Wayne Gretzky standing on stage behind him.

In 65 games for the Chiefs last season, Yamamoto scored 42 goals and 57 assists (99 points).

From the NHL.com draft site:

Yamamoto becomes the sixth Spokane Chiefs player to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, joining Pat Falloon (1991, second overall, San Jose), Brad Ference (1997, 10th, Vancouver), Tyler Jones (1997, 16th, Chicago), Michael Grabner (2006, 14th, Vancouver) and Jared Cowan (2009, ninth, Ottawa).

Yamamoto, listed at 5-foot-7 1/2, is often compared to Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, another small but dynamic player.

Yamamoto grew up in Spokane and went to Mead High School.

“Growing up in Spokane – it’s a tremendous city,” Yamamoto said earlier this month. “I love it. Being able to play for your home town and living at home, being able to see everyone I grew up with, it makes (the draft) that much more special. Spokane’s a tremendous hockey town and it’s unbelievable to represent that at the draft.”

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