Rangers once again looking into disgruntled Oiler, Puljujarvi
In June, when news broke that Jesse Puljujarvi wanted out of Edmonton we discussed the logical connection with the Rangers. The Blueshirts had just drafted Finnish phenom Kaapo Kakko and had no other players or prospects ready to suit up with him from Finland.
Now, with the December 1st deadline looming to sign him or lose the right to do so for the entire season, the Oilers are up against the proverbial wall. Last night on Sportsnet’s Saturday Headlines, reporter Chris Johnston noted the Rangers are the most interested since the summer. So will it happen?
Breaking it down
The Edmonton Oilers selected big right winger, Jesse Puljujarvi with the fourth overall selection in the 2016 draft. Loaded with talent up front, the 21 year old is having trouble getting the ice time he needs to shine. Regardless of how well the Oilers are playing, his demand to be traded remains.
Ken Holland, the Oilers GM will look for trading partners but will not move him unless he gets what he wants. Puljajarvi and his agent want a fresh start and every NHL GM knows that. While it makes sense for Holland not to just give him away, he has to realize that once being a promising prospect and struggling to deliver isn’t really a position of strength. However, Puljujarvi has been very productive in Finland which should help with the return.
Possible Trade Scenario
Would a player like Chris Kreider interest Edmonton? I thinks so, but then Holland would have to throw in a 2nd round pick with Puljujarvi in my opinion. But since acquiring James Neal the Oilers may be thinking long term. Which leads me to what could be the unthinkable for some, trading Lias Andersson.
Jeff Gorton trading his 2017 1st rounder for Edmonton’s from 2016 is not that crazy. In truth, Puljujarvi was a highly touted prospect while many felt the Rangers reached with Andersson. And if we are being honest, Andersson seems to be unable to get out of that 4th line role under Quinn.
So why bring in Puljujarvi to the Rangers? Aside from taking a chance on a player with a ton of upside, he hails from Finland (born in Sweden). The Rangers drafted Kaapo Kakko, and they don’t have any other Finnish player on this roster, and that could help ease the transition to North America. This point was driven home when news broke this week that the Rangers brought over Toumu Ruutu to help Kakko adjust.
Jeff Gorton and the Rangers aren’t done making moves. The opportunity to bring in Puljujarvi just makes too much sense on so many levels. Let’s see if this happens over the next few weeks.