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Oilers Sign Yamamoto to Two-Year Deal, Avoid Arbitration

The Edmonton Oilers signed forward Kailer Yamamoto to a two-year contract extension, avoiding arbitration.
Kailer Yamamoto

The Edmonton Oilers have officially locked up their two top restricted free agents. 

With the two sides set to meet in an arbitration hearing scheduled in the coming days, the Oilers opted to avoid any ugly board room battles with one of their best young forwards, agreeing to terms with Kailer Yamamoto on a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $3.1 million. 

The deal now ties Yamamoto to Edmonton through the 2023-24 season and ensures that he retains his RFA status and arbitration rights upon expiry. 

It seemed unlikely, and yet the Oilers have managed to lock up both Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi in the same summer, placing the team roughly $6 million over the salary cap with another two months left to become compliant. 

Despite scoring at a lower clip than Puljujarvi did last season while making the exact same amount of money and being just a year apart in age, Yamamoto always seemed like the RFA the Oilers actually wanted to keep. 

Yamamoto is a fine middle-six winger at this stage in his career, coming off a 20-goal season that showed all the signs of a player with miles of runway upon which to improve. He won't drive play on his own, but on a line with Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, or perhaps both, he doesn't really need to, showing some promising finishing ability and playmaking inclinations that are required to be a running mate to that pair of stars. 

Having locked up the bulk of their key players from last season, the Oilers look poised to make another deep run in 2022-23. 

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