It’s not a secret that Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi is having problems with his development.
A few days ago it was reported that both agent and team could be finding a new team for the youngster, who is only 20 years old. His agent, Markus Lehto, is not happy with Jesse Puljujarvi’s usage, As evident by this quote from him:
Jesse Puljujarvi's agent, Markus Lehto, tells Sportset he is unsure if staying with Edmonton is best for his client.
Column to come shortly. pic.twitter.com/QtSFGI00M6
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) February 16, 2019
If he is to get traded there’s a couple of teams that could be interested. As far as returns go it would have to be a lot, as reported by TSN’s Ryan Rishaug. As far as what a package for Puljujarvi could look like, I see two options. One a player of similar draft pedigree that is also going through development struggles, or 2. A 3 for 1 package that includes a top 6 winger, a first, and a B level prospect.
Full disclaimer I’m here to give my opinion and I hope you all respect it but remember that you don’t have to agree.
New York Rangers
The Rangers are starting to rebuild finally after being a powerhouse of the East for many seasons. One of the many things teams do when they rebuild is getting younger, so it’s possible that Puljujarvi could be heading to New York in a package that could have a experienced veteran player like Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes just to name a few. Puljujarvi could be a future 1st liner if he pans out to be what he was supposed to be when he was drafted 4th. I really can’t think of why the Rangers wouldn’t want him. As far as the rest of the package New York has an abundance of prospects they could offer in return. One of Filip Chytil, Lias Andersson, Vitali Kravstov, or Libor Hajek could potentially be included as well.
Columbus Blue Jackets
It seems like Columbus is going to fall apart this off-season with Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin most likely going else where. Columbus passed on Puljujarvi in the draft and took Pierre-Luc Dubois instead, fair to say that was a great decision. With a Finnish GM at the helm I could see Kekäläinen being really interested in getting another Finnish player who also has a great potential also he probably knows that Nutivaara has played with him before. Possibly Panarin or Bobrovsky could be shipped off in a massive deal where Puljujarvi could be a nice chunk of. If somehow Columbus keeps the two Russians then this deal is most likely off the table.
I know, this is a stretch but I have reasons for putting them here. First, Sebastian Aho has played with Jesse before on Kärpät. Second, it’s another young forward, something they still have a need for. Third, it would probably only cost Haydn Fleury a defenseman who is struggling to break in to the Carolina defense. Reasons why it wouldn’t work could be the following, he isn’t good enough to play with Aho, they already have a great RW prospect in Andrei Svechnikov and why would you shake up a team what could make the playoffs. I’m saying if Puljujarvi becomes a 1st line level RW this is a great move. It looks like Puljujarvi could have some players on the team who he is familiar with. Also if he struggles he could also be on the same line as Mäenalanen, another former team mate of his.
In all likelihood Edmonton will not trade him. Edmonton just cannot afford to lose a Jesse Puljujarvi trade like they did with prospects in the past. Edmonton will try to avoid a Nail Yakupov-esque disaster once again. Part of me honestly hopes he gets a trade out of that organization.
stats for nhl.com, hockey-reference.com
featured image photo credit – Josh Tessler