Yamamoto makes hockey history by becoming shortest NHL first round draft pick
Kailer Yamamoto of Spokane, Washington made National Hockey League history on Friday by becoming the shortest first round draft pick in National Hockey League history. The Edmonton Oilers selected Yamamoto, who is only five feet and seven inches, 22nd overall.
Yamamoto had a great season in 2016-17 with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. He had 42 goals and 57 assists for 99 points. He led the Chiefs in goals, assists and points.
A right winger, Yamamoto was one of five Americans selected in the first round of the 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He was joined by center Casey Mittelstadt of Edina, Minnesota (Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League) who was drafted eighth overall by the Buffalo Sabres, center Josh Norris of Oxford, Michigan (United States National Team Development Program) who was drafted 19th overall by the San Jose Sharks, center Ryan Poehling of Lakeville, Minnesota (St. Cloud State of the NCAA) who was drafted 25th by the Montreal Canadiens and goaltender Jake Oettinger of Lakeville, Minnesota (Boston University) who was drafted 26th by the Dallas Stars.
In addition to Yakamoto, there were four other first round draft picks on American teams in the Western Hockey League. The Vegas Golden Knights drafted center Cody Glass of Winnipeg, Manitoba sixth overall (Portland Winterhawks). The Detroit Red Wings drafted center Michael Rasmussen of Surrey, British Columbia ninth overall (Tri-City Americans). The Calgary Flames drafted defenseman Juuso Valimaki of Nokia, Finland 16th overall (Tri-City Americans). The Chicago Blackhawks drafted defenseman Henri Jokiharju of Tampere, Finland 29th overall (Portland Winterhawks).
In addition to Mittelstadt, there was one other player selected in the first round from the United States Hockey League. The Ottawa Senators selected center Shane Bowers of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 28th overall. Bowers played this past year for the Waterloo Black Hawks, which are based in Iowa.