The Edmonton Oilers have cap space in hand and, after a strong run to the Western Conference Final, a clear desire to add difference-making players to their roster. One player they’re likely to subtract from their lineup is forward Jesse Puljujarvi. Puljujarvi, 24, will become an arbitration-eligible restricted free agent on Wednesday and is expected by many to be moved before next season. After a promising season in Edmonton, the Oilers faithful could not be faulted for expecting to return at least something of reasonable quality as part of the compensation package in any summer Puljujarvi trade. It seems, though, that that’s unlikely to happen. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Oilers are “frustrated” by “how little interest there is” in Puljujarvi.
Dreger clarifies that there are about three or four teams that are “nibbling” at the prospect of acquiring Puljujarvi and that the Oilers front office is bracing for a reality where they are forced to “sell low” on Puljujarvi and accept a return they deem to be sub-par. Puljujarvi, the fourth overall pick at the 2016 draft, scored 14 goals and 36 points in 65 games in 2021-22, which is a career-high in points production, although his playoff scoring (just three points in 16 games) left much to be desired. There is a general belief that Puljujarvi could “pop” on another team and score with a level of consistency and frequency he never could in Edmonton, and the Oilers may be left with a sort of trade return that is not commensurate with the value they believe Puljujarvi holds.
Now, for some other notes regarding the league’s Western Conference teams:
- With Filip Forsberg now off the market, Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has solidified his spot as the undisputed top free agent scorer set to be available on next week’s open market. The Calgary Flames, though, are hoping his contract situation ends in a similar way to Forsberg’s. Flames GM Brad Treliving, as relayed by TSN’s Salim Valji, remains “optimistic” about the prospect of re-signing Gaudreau, and part of the reason for that optimism has been because he and Gaudreau’s agent, Lewis Gross, have been “genuinely working towards a deal.” There has long been speculation on a Gaudreau return to his native East Coast, perhaps to the Philadelphia Flyers or New Jersey Devils, but it seems as though the Flames are fully intent on keeping that from happening and have every confidence that they’ll be successful.
- With a spectacular performance in the playoffs, capped off by an impactful Stanley Cup Final series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, winger Valeri Nichushkin could enter the market next week on extremely strong ground. The Colorado Avalanche and GM Joe Sakic are going to try to keep that from happening. The team bid farewell to goalie Darcy Kuemper, helping them save cap space, and will likely use a solid chunk of that space in their attempt to retain Nichushkin. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes pegs a Nichushkin extension in Colorado at the $5MM-$6MM average annual value, which seems more than reasonable for a strong defensive player who scored 52 points in 62 games. It’s still an open question as to whether the Avalanche will commit to the full eight-year term they are permitted to offer Nichushkin, but their ability to offer one more year than any teams on the open market could be a factor in deciding if Nichushkin stays in Colorado. If he doesn’t, he can expect a multitude of suitors once the market opens.
So Edmonton Is frustrated that there Is little Interest In JP but yet Edmonton has little Interest In JP.
The problem is that JP continues to whine about his place in the lineup. The Oilers would love to have him on the 3rd line, but he wants to play top 6 and be paid commensurate with that.
He was played with Connor and showed he couldn’t cash enough chances or think the game at the level of Connor and Leon. By years end he was consistently whiffing on one timer opportunities. Kane came in and showed what an elite winger looks like.
This is the second time he has complained. There is only so much a team can accept.
Nevermind wilf. he thinks he knows about but hockey, but is just an uninformed Don Cherry wannabe.
JP is not a goal scorer unless he plays with a mega star…
Puljujarvi is Nichuskin 2.0.
Ok then if he plays with MacKinnon…or maybe Barkov..
Puljujarvi to Rangers for Gauthier, Nemeth, and a fringe defense prospect not named Lundkvist, Matthew Robertson, or Zac Jones.
Rangers can’t fit him without Edmonton taking back Nemeth but Edmonton could use dmen!
Ugh, no Nemeth. I wonder if Martinez would go to Edmonton. Holland loves his aging Vets! Pulju for Martinez + a minor pick for the cap dump? Seems like a win-win.
Or trade Pulju for Talbot?
Edmonton can’t afford to take on cap dumps and has 0 use for Nemeth. They have stated they are looking to make a hockey trade with Jesse. They’re looking for a simular type situation, where a player may be not living up to his draft status and a team thinks he may do better with a restart.
Gosh, the Oilers are surprised that teams aren’t falling all over themselves to shower Edmonton with high draft picks? For a guy whose career performance to date tops out as something you’d be happy to have as a 3rd-liner and growl about as a 2nd-liner?
For my part, I don’t care a good goddamn whether a player was once a top-five draft selection. I care whether he’s demonstrated he can play NHL hockey at a high level. Puljujarvi’s a decent player, not a great one, not one who’s any threat to play in the All-Star Game. Whatever “general belief” there might be that he could be a star on another team is pretty devoid of actual evidence.
If anything the deal is better for EDM, but I still think there is something to be said for a Kasperi Kapanen for Puljujarvi trade.
Pens have lost interest in Kapanen, but he’s shown he can be a good player in this league on multiple occasions and worse comes to worse he can be dropped into the bottom six as a Hagelin like forechecker.
Puljujarvi could end being useless or…maybe playing next to a (hopefully) resigned Geno Malkin, maybe he finds his game.
Given Sully’s souring on Kapanen, seems like a good roll of the dice for both teams.
The Jets have an excess in left dmen. Would Logan Stanley, also an underperforming 1st round pick, be of interest in a trade for Puljujarvi?