Birthdate: May 6, 1999
Birthplace: Barrington, Illinois
Country: United States
Weight: 187 lbs
Drafted: 5th round, 133rd overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by Florida
Tyler Inamoto spent most of his 2021-22 season eating pucks in the NCAA. A two-year assistant captain with the Wisconsin Badgers, Inamoto was one of the top shot blockers in college hockey.
In 26 games last season in Wisconsin, the Illinois native had just two points (a pair of assists). But his value is going to mostly be seen on the defensive side of the puck, particularly in his own zone.
The left-shot defenseman signed a PTO with the Ontario Reign in April of 2021 after the competition of his college career. He suited up for just two games with the Reign and while he did not record a point, he did block three shots.
Inamoto will often be the defenseman planted in front of his crease, either blocking shots or using his reach to disrupt passes. Here are a few clips from last season in Wisconsin:
At the end of August, Inamoto, along with fellow left-shot defenseman Christian Kasastul, was signed by the Ontario Reign. While it’s no secret the left side of the LA Kings’ defense group is relatively thin, we’ll see where Inamoto starts the 2022-23 campaign.
Currently, Cameron Gaunce, Kim Nousiainen, and Tobie Paquette-Bisson are all left-shot defensemen under contract. There is also the possibility that one of Tobias Bjornfot or Jacob Moverare begins the season with the Reign. It’s possible that Inamoto begins the season with the ECHL affiliate Greenville Swamp Rabbits. But the fact that he’s gotten a taste of AHL hockey could prove valuable when the team inevitably needs reinforcements during the season.
*All videos courtesy of InStat
(Main photo credit: Ontario Reign)