After dropping their first two games at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, Team USA posted a 7-3 win over Slovakia to close out the preliminary round and head into the playoff round on a high note. Unfortunately, the playoff battle will be for the right to finish fifth and out of the money, an outcome the U.S. was surely hoping to avoid.
One of three players topping the scoring ranks for the U.S. at this tournament is forward Kailer Yamamoto. The Spokane, WA native has posted two goals and two assists in three games, with three (1G, 2A) of those points coming in the win over Slovakia.
Yamamoto plays for his hometown team, the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. He turned in a strong rookie season in 2014-15, posting 23 goals and 57 points in 68 games. He followed that up with five points in six playoff games, creating the expectation that he could be an offensive lynchpin for the Chiefs in 2015-16. Yamamoto is a late ’98 birthdate, so he won’t be eligible for the NHL Draft until 2017.
Hockey’s Future spoke with Yamamoto on the second day of the tournament, with that conversation included in this HF video.
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