Spokane’s Yamamoto scores historic goal in Kraken home opener

Oct 17, 2023, 8:12 PM | Updated: Oct 18, 2023, 11:23 am

The Seattle Kraken hit home ice for the first time in the 2023-24 NHL season on Tuesday, and their first goal of the night came with a special kind of history.

Seattle Kraken Breakdown: Forslund’s keys to take next step

The Kraken took a 1-0 lead against the Colorado Avalanche – sound familiar? – at the 15:09 mark in the opening period, but what made it special is who scored it: Spokane native Kailer Yamamoto. That made the goal the first in Kraken history by a native Washingtonian.

The 25-year-old Yamamoto joined Seattle in free agency this offseason, and the right wing already went into the record books last week as the first native of Washington to suit up for the Kraken. As cool as that may be, it doesn’t get much more special than the local boy scoring the first goal of the season in front of the Pacific Northwest fans.

Best moment in Washington NHL history? Maybe. Most Washington moment in NHL history? Almost definitely.

Watch the goal here:

Per Seattle Kraken PR, Yamamoto is one of 23 Washington natives to be taken in the NHL Draft, and as the No. 22 overall selection in 2017 by Edmonton, he is the highest-drafted active Washingtonian in the league. He’s also fourth among players from Washington in career points, behind only T.J. Oshie, Tyler Johnson and Derek Ryan.

Yamamoto already has a few other historic distinctions in Washington/NHL history. He became the first player from Washington to score a goal against the Kraken, doing so in a Nov. 1, 2021 game in Edmonton to help the Oilers win 5-2. Then on Dec. 18, 2021, Yamamoto scored the first point ever in Seattle by a Washington native, logging an assist in a 5-3 Oilers win. Finally, he scored the first goal in Seattle by a player from Washington on March 18, 2023, which was a 6-4 Oilers win.

Prior to joining the Kraken, Yamamoto played 244 games over six seasons with the Oilers. He also spent four seasons in the Western Hockey League with his hometown Spokane Chiefs.

The Kraken entered Tuesday’s home opener looking for both their first win of the season, and their first win in any kind of opener as a franchise. Unfortunately for Seattle, the Avalanche used a pair of shorthanded goals to win 4-1. Now in their third season, the Kraken are so far 0-6 combined in season openers and home openers.

More on the Seattle Kraken

Seattle Kraken F Brandon Tanev out at least a month with injury
The five biggest questions for this Kraken season
NHL Pacific Division: Where do Kraken stand entering the season?
Season Preview: Seattle Kraken now face expectations in loaded division

Seattle Kraken

Seattle Kraken Shane Wright...

Brent Stecker

What’s new Kraken coach Bylsma’s insight on Shane Wright?

New Seattle Kraken coach Dan Bylsma, who coached Shane Wright the last two seasons in the AHL, talked to Bump and Stacy about the 2022 first-round pick.

6 days ago

Seattle Kraken Eeli Tolvanen...

The Associated Press

Kraken, Eeli Tolvanen agree to two-year deal

The Seattle Kraken and Eeli Tolvanen have agreed to terms on a two-year deal. Seattle also inked first-round draft pick Berkly Catton.

12 days ago

Seattle Kraken coach Dan Bylsma...

Tim Booth

After whirlwind stretch, new Seattle Kraken coach Dan Bylsma settles in

Dan Bylsma’s first on-ice duties as Seattle Kraken head coach started Tuesday when the team began development camp for the top prospects in their system and concluded a wild five-week stretch.

13 days ago

Jessica Campbell Seattle Kraken...

Tim Booth

History made as Kraken hire Jessica Campbell as assistant coach

Jessica Campbell will become the first woman to work on the bench of an NHL franchise after the Seattle Kraken hired her as an assistant coach Wednesday.

13 days ago

Seattle Kraken trade Brian Dumoulin...

Brent Stecker

Seattle Kraken make trade to follow up big day in free agency

The Seattle Kraken turned heads with their big day Monday on the free-agent market. On Tuesday, they made another move that was perhaps necessary based on those acquisitions.

15 days ago

Seattle Sonics NBA Boston Celtics sale...

Brent Stecker

Key domino for Seattle Sonics return falling with Celtics for sale?

The return of the Seattle Sonics to the NBA could be one step closer to reality based on news regarding another franchise in the league.

16 days ago

Spokane’s Yamamoto scores historic goal in Kraken home opener