The Trade-Mart Dundee Stars are delighted to announce the signing of American forward, Keanu Yamamoto for the 2024-2025 Elite League campaign.


The 27-year-old winger joins the club after spending the past two seasons with Rapid City Rush of the ECHL and last season, he iced in 72 games and recorded 48 points (19G, 29A).

Born in Spokane, Washington, Keanu will make his European debut this season after previously playing in North America throughout his entire career and he has played in the ECHL, USports and WHL.

Yamamoto, who stands at 5-foot and 10-inches tall, also played five seasons with McGill University in USports, accumulating 103 points in 119 games and was named as an alternate captain in his final year.

Keanu also spent four years playing junior hockey with Spokane Chiefs in the Western Hockey League and he recorded 190 points across 283 matches.


Credit: McGill Athletics.



After securing the signature of Yamamoto, Stars Director of Hockey Operations and Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre, said: “We needed some more secondary scoring as last year we really relied on our top line to provide our offence and obviously you need guys who can chip in with some secondary scoring, so Keanu will be a great addition to our offence.

“He is a great two-way player and will help our powerplay, so he will definitely chip in with some scoring and it was a no brainer to bring him to Dundee, guys with experience like that and who have put up those numbers in the East Coast, you know they will do well at the Elite League level.

“We want to build on what we did last season and that meant it was a mix of bringing a lot of guys back and finding some new guys to replace the ones that we were not going to bring back or who decided to leave the club, so we had to supplement that with better players to get us to the next level and Keanu is definitely that.”

Yamamoto will be linking up with his teammate from the past two seasons at Rapid City, Brett Gravelle as the pair make their first move across the pond and discussing the importance of having existing relationships between players, LeFebvre added: “It is not only important on the ice but also off the ice to have that chemistry because it helps with the transition for guys coming over to Europe for the first time and they do not know anyone makes it a bit tougher.

“So, for guys to know each other and to have played together for the last couple of seasons, they will also know a few other guys on our team, but from them playing together it makes the transition a bit easier for adjusting to life in the UK and out on the ice as well.”


Credit: McGill Athletics.



Once his move to Dundee was sealed, Keanu said: “I am super excited to be coming over to the Dundee and the UK, it has been a dream of mine to play overseas and I am really grateful to have this opportunity.

“My conversations with Marc went great, he just told me about the city and what to expect from Dundee and it fit exactly with what I was looking for and I am very excited for the season ahead.

“I do not know too much about the league outside of what I have heard from Marc and a few old teammates that played in Coventry but they had nothing but good things to say about the league.”

Describing how he plays the game, Yamamoto added: “I would say I am a smart player that can make plays and contribute offensively and I am hoping to bring a good all-around game and contribute to the offence as much as possible.”

Finally, he shared a message for the fans ahead of his arrival in Dundee this August: “I am super excited to get started in Dundee and cannot wait to meet the fans and soak up the atmosphere.”


Listen to the full interview with Keanu and Stars TV below!



Keanu’s career started back in 2011 as he played with Los Angeles Jr. Kings Under 16’s side in the Tier 1 Elite League 16U for two seasons and in 70 appearances, he totalled 68 points, before then moving to Spokane to begin his junior career in the WHL.

The American posted 25 points in his rookie year and would continually increase his production for the Chiefs over the next three seasons, improving to 32 points, 64 points and then 69 points in his final year.

Ahead of the 2017-2018 season, Yamamoto committed to McGill University and had back-to-back 21-point regular season campaigns in his first two years for the Martlets, before then adding a further six and nine points in the playoffs.

Yamamoto then bagged 27 in his third season and after losing the next year to the COVID-19 Pandemic, he returned in 2021 and netted 19 points in 20 games of his senior year.

Keanu then turned professional in 2022 as he signed with Rapid City for the coming season and in his rookie year, he tallied 45 points in 71 games before improving that to 48 in 72 this past season.


Credit: McGill Athletics.


In his 13-year-career so far, Keanu has featured in 585 matches, recorded 167 goals, 255 assists and collected 320 penalty minutes, while also playing in 33 playoff games, where he tallied 34 points (12G, 22A) and 14 penalty minutes.

Keanu is our 10th signing of the summer and joins Drydn Dow, Ben O’Connor, Jonathan McBean, Xavier Pouliot, Craig Garrigan, Kris Inglis, Kyle Pouncy, Brett Gravelle and Craig Moore on the roster for next season.

Yamamoto will wear #20 for the Stars and you can sponsor his equipment for this season right now, click HERE.

To see Keanu’s career stats on Elite Prospects click HERE


Banner image: Rapid City Journal.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
54 Games
22 Wins
25 Losses
7 OT Losses
51 Points