This week’s prospects include Kailer Yamamoto (Spokane Chiefs), Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs) & Joel Teasdale (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada).
Kailer Yamamoto - Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Born: September 29, 1998 – Spokane, Washington, United States
Weight: 160 lbs.
Drafted: 2013 WHL Draft – Round #5 (105h overall) by Spokane Chiefs
Perhaps, the best playmaker in the draft, undersized Yamamoto is an ultra-skilled winger who can make plays develop out of nothing and always knows where his linemates are. A true spark plug who can change the course of the game by creating a big play or scoring the big goal using his high hockey IQ and creativity on the ice. Will leave it all on the ice and leave his mark in all three zones with great work ethic. A real speedster with a low centre of gravity that enables him to turn quickly. Shows great acceleration with a quick first step and not afraid to skate to the greasy areas. Has tremendous hands and is a great stickhandler especially around the net and in tight spaces. Very quick to jump on loose pucks and will take a hit. He enters his third season in the dub and brings experience to a young Spokane team.
DID YOU KNOW? Yamamoto has already played two full seasons in the WHL, registering 128 points in 125 games, entering his draft year. He has represented the USA at the U17, U18 and the Hlinka tournaments, and produced above a point per game in international play. He also plays alongside older brother Keanu who is an overage centre on the Chiefs.
Matthew Strome - Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
Born: January 6, 1999 – Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Weight: 203 lbs.
Drafted: 2015 OHL Draft - Round #1 (8th overall) by Hamilton Bulldogs
The younger brother of NHLers Ryan and Dylan, Matthew is the bigger of the three and displays more power on the ice. He makes space for himself and uses his reach and frame to gain position. Physically strong along the boards and in corners. Does some crafty things in the offensive zone and seems to catch opposition off guard. Likes to shoot but is more of a pass-first type of winger. Plays on the power play and makes good decisions with the puck and is first one in on the forecheck creating neutral zone pressure on opposing defencemen. Dynamic patience down low and in tight around the net. Seems to always find a way to maneuver in tight spots while never rushing the play. Skating has improved from a year ago but still needs to work on it throughout the season.
DID YOU KNOW? Strome was the first ever player drafted by the Hamilton Bulldogs with the eighth overall pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. Hamilton Bulldogs Owner Michael Andlauer purchased the Belleville Bulls franchise and went on to relocate the franchise to Hamilton and renamed the team Bulldogs for the start of the 2015-16 season. In his rookie season Matthew scored more goals (16) than his brother Dylan (10) and Ryan (5) scored in their first OHL seasons.
Joel Teasdale - Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL)
Born: March 11, 1999 – Ste-Julie, Quebec
Weight: 180 lbs.
Drafted: 2015 QMJHL Draft – Round #1 (12th overall) by Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
A real hard worker and competitor at all ends of the ice. Finds himself in the middle of the play either creating a chance or skating hard to the puck. Not a real huge kid but built with a strong lower body which enables him to fend off defenders. High end sense with and without the puck, offensively and defensively. Quick hands with the puck and elusive skating ability with quick bursts and an explosive first step to beat defenders. Likes to dig deep in the corners and push some bodies off the puck to his advantage. He is not afraid to take a hit to make a play. Not a real dominant offensive player yet but does everything asked of him. He will skate the puck out of danger areas and make a smart decision by looking for an opportunity to make a play or shoot the puck.
DID YOU KNOW? Teasdale scored 21 points in 29 games for the Collège Antoine-Girouard Gaulois in the QMAAA in 2014-15. He was second in team scoring for Quebec (Blue team) with four goals and two assists as his team captured the Gatorade Excellence Challenge Championship.
1) Cumberland Grads Franchise Rebranded as Navan Grads
2) Colin Birkas Named Head Coach for Calgary Canucks
3) John Dean Returns to OJHL to Coach Toronto Patriots
4) OJHL Chairman Scott McCrory Making Big Move
5) Peter Goulet Leaves Pro Ranks To Focus On OJHL’s Kingston Voyageurs