Former Los Angeles Jr. King Kailer Yamamoto was one of 28 players named to the preliminary roster for the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team.
The group is auditioning for a spot on the final 23-man roster that will represent the United States in the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, which will run from Dec. 26, 2017-Jan. 5, 2018 in Buffalo.
“This is an accomplished, versatile group of players that has experience winning across all levels of hockey and intends to do so this year on home ice,” said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations and the general manager of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team.
“There's a specific style of play Coach Motzko (U.S. head coach Bob Motzko) and his staff intend to utilize, and while there are still some difficult decisions to make, our staff is excited to begin identifying a roster that can ultimately win a gold medal in Buffalo.”
A forward, Yamamoto made his NHL debut in October as a member of the Edmonton Oilers with whom he recorded three assists in nine games. He has since returned to juniors as a member of the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.
Earlier this year, the Oilers signed Yamamoto, who was picked in the first-round by the club in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft (22nd overall), to a three-year entry-level contract.