There has been unconfirmed speculation for much of this season that the Edmonton Oilers were open to moving disappointing prospect Jesse Puljujarvi, but now it seems that the team is actually contemplating a trade. TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports that the Oilers have spoken with Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto, about the possibility of a move. Rishaug writes that the team is open to trading the top prospect if the right return presents itself.
Puljujarvi, 20, was the fourth overall pick in 2016 but has yet to justify his draft slot. A 6’4″ power forward, Pulujarvi scored with ease in his native Finland and on the international stage. He even did well for himself in the AHL for much of the 2016-17 season. However, the NHL level has been a different story. In 138 games thus far, Puljujarvi has only 37 points. This season, through 45 games, he has four goals, nine points, and a team-worst -14 rating. It has gotten so bad for the young forward, that Rishaug states he is likely to be sent down to the AHL if a trade does not occur.
For his part, Rishaug believes this to be the most likely outcome. Although the Oilers are officially considering moving on from Puljujarvi, Rishaug feels it would take a major return. He states that Edmonton still believes in Puljujarvi and would rather keep working with him, in the NHL or AHL, than give him away at a discount. With draft guru Keith Gretzky currently in charge as interim GM, this is a plausible outcome. However, the question now is whether another team likes Puljujarvi’s potential more than the Oilers. Edmonton may not be eager to move the recent top pick, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t.