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Jesse Puljujarvi Signs With Karpat

August 28, 2019, 1:16 PM ET [104 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Yesterday, news officially broke that Jesse Puljujarvi had signed a one year deal with Oulun Karpat with an NHL opt-out of December 1st. That means that NHL clubs have a chance to sign the RFA right winger up to that date if they want him to play in the NHL this season. If the Oilers and player are not able to come to terms or a trade is not figured out, Puljujarvi will spend the entire season overseas.

At this point, this is the best scenario, for both parties. Puljujarvi has the chance to gain back confidence and play impact minutes on a professional hockey team, and should he light it up in Europe, it will likely make more teams interested in acquiring the 21 year old, former 4th overall pick.

Holland has handled the situation well from the Oilers perspective, short of offering Puljuajrvi a 5 million dollar contract and guaranteeing him a spot on the top line, it was clear nothing was going to keep Jesse here. Peter Chiarelli and poor coaching decisions soured that relationship beyond repair. What Holland has done smartly is his unwillingness to trade Puljujarvi for the best offer available right now if he doesn't believe that best offer is enough.

The Oilers still hold all the negotiation cards for Puljujarvi and do not need to rush into any decision. Ryan Rishaug has reported that Edmonton is currently looking for a first round pick or a player ready to play in the top 9 and a draft pick in return for Puljujarvi. Right now Puljujarvi is likely not worth that but having him play overseas and score some goals will go a long way in improving his value. Trading Puljujarvi now for a second or third round pick does nothing to help Edmonton.

With Puljujarvi overseas, Edmonton has roughly 2.4 million dollars in cap space. That number will increase in the next few weeks as players like Brandon Manning and some of the current listed forwards are sent to the AHL. By the time training camp finishes, the Oilers could have close to 4 million dollars in cap space.

A couple of players have been mentioned as options for Edmonton, including centre Riley Sheahan who once played for Holland's Red Wings, as well as the very veteran Patrick Marleau. The fact that Edmonton was targeting Derick Brassard shows Holland is still looking to add pieces to the roster.
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