Yamamoto earns NTDP camp invite

Kailer Yamamoto, a forward on the Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 16U AAA Major team, was one of 52 of the top American players born in 1998 invited to this year’s USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP) Evaluation Camp.

The camp, which will help select the 2014-15 U.S. National Under-17 Team, will take place from March 21-25 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Kailer has had a tremendous season, adapting his game and developing every month,” said Jr. Kings 16U AAA Major coach Louis Pacella. “He's playing his best hockey right now, very deserving of this invite, and will seriously challenge for a spot with the program.”

Yamamoto is the ninth player mentored by Pacella to earn an invite to the prestigious camp since the 94 birth year, joining forwards Nic Kerdiles (94), Miles Koules (94), Nic Olsson (94), Chase De Leo (95), Nolan Stevens (96) and Robby Jackson (97); defenseman Scott Savage (95); and goaltender Thatcher Demko (95).

Kerdiles, Koules, Olsson, Savage, Demko and Stevens all played in the NTDP.

“There's been a nice connection between Southern California and the NTDP for quite some time now,” added Pacella, who previously served as the western region scout for the NTDP for over three years. “Everyone recognizes the talent that comes from our area.” 

Former Jr. Kings forward Patrick Khodorenko (Walnut Creek) was also selected to participate in the camp.

“We're excited to welcome another talented crop of players to our tryout camp," said Peter Ward, director of player personnel for the NTDP. “The entire scouting staff puts in days, months and years of hard work to identify what we believe are the nation's top players in this age group.”

The 52 players, including 19 defensemen, 27 forwards and six goaltenders, will be divided into three teams - Red, White and Blue. The squads will participate in on-ice practices and off-ice training, as well as four 30-minute practice sessions and two full games.

For more information, on the NTDP, visit USANTDP.com.