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Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What could the Oilers expect in a Jesse Puljujarvi trade?

Jesse Puljujarvi appears to be headed back to Bakersfield after a disappointing start to the season in Edmonton. His one goal in 11 games isn’t what many expected from him in a season where the Oilers are desperate for scoring wingers.

Puljujarvi’s development hasn’t gone as planned, but Oilers haven’t set him up for success since drafting him fourth overall in 2016.

I’m sure both Puljujarvi and the Oilers aren’t happy with the situation.

Puljujarvi hasn’t averaged more than 13:22 a season in parts of three years in Edmonton. It’s clear Todd McLellan doesn’t trust Puljujarvi, opting for players like Ty Rattie, Drake Caggiula, or Alex Chiasson instead.

The Oilers haven’t received the type of talent they thought they picked fourth overall in 2016. Players drafted near Puljujarvi have surpassed him at this point. Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are bonafide stars. Pierre-Luc Dubois is on track in Columbus. Matthew Tkachuk and Clayton Keller, both picked after Puljujarvi, are already talented scorers in the NHL. Mikhail Sergachev had a stellar rookie season with the Tampa Bay Lightning last year, scoring 40 points in a limited role.

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The Oiler must get value out of Puljujarvi. Spending time in the minors at 20 doesn’t write him off as an NHL player, but it wouldn’t be surprising if both the player and agent wanted a fresh start elsewhere with the way Edmonton’s handled Puljujarvi.

What could the Oilers get in return for Puljujarvi? Former high-draft picks have been traded before, so we can refer previous trades of to gauge a potential return.

Puljujarvi is in his third season after being drafted. For the purpose of this exercise, I’m limiting comparisons to top-10 drafted forwards traded no later than during or after their fourth season after being drafted with scoring like Puljujarvi (0.25 points per game).

Gilbert Brule
Drafted:
6th (2005)
PPG before trade: 0.22
Traded for: 
Raffi Torres

The Blue Jackets picked Brule sixth overall in 2005 and moved him four years after later. Brule didn’t score much in his time with Columbus and only played 16 AHL games. Columbus traded Brule after a 9-point campaign to Edmonton for Raffi Torres. Torres had just scored 15 goals and 34 points the year before and had a 27-goal season to his name.

James Sheppard
Drafted:
9th (2006)
PPG before trade: 
0.22
Traded for: Third-round draft pick

Minnesota traded Sheppard four years after drafting him. He had a strong year in the QMJHL after being drafted but couldn’t translate that beyond a couple mediocre seasons in Minnesota. The Wild got a third-round pick from San Jose in return for Sheppard.

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Nikita Filatov
Drafted: 
6th (2008)
PPG before trade: 0.30
Traded for: Third-round draft pick

The Blue Jackets traded Filatov just three years after drafting him. Columbus got a third-round pick from Ottawa. Filatov didn’t have much success in Ottawa either. Filatov scored well in the minors but not in the NHL. He eventually returned to Russia, leaving the NHL with an infamous quote.

Magnus Paajarvi
Drafted:
10th (2009)
PPG before trade:
0.36
Traded for: 
With a second-round draft pick for David Perron

Paajarvi had more success than Puljujarvi before being traded to St. Louis, but most of that came in his 15-goal rookie season. Paajarvi scored 0.28 points per game the next two seasons combined. Edmonton traded Paajarvi along with a second-round pick to St. Louis for David Perron after his third NHL season. Paajarvi was in the fourth year after being drafted but the Oilers still got solid value for a disappointing pick.

Nino Niederreiter
Drafted:
5th (2010)
PPG before trade:
0.05
Traded for: 
Cal Clutterbuck and a third-round draft pick

The Islanders completely mismanaged Niederreiter. After scoring 1 point in 55 games in 2011-12, the Islanders kept him in the AHL for 2012-13. Niederreiter’s camp was understandably upset at the Islander’s treatment and requested a trade. The Islanders traded Niederreiter to Minnesota for Cal Clutterbuck and a third-round draft pick the following summer. Clutterbuck was a decent bottom-six guy who hit a lot. Niederreiter developed into a two-way guy capable of 40-50 points in Minnesota.

Niederreiter was traded three years after being drafted, the season Jesse Puljujarvi is currently in.

Feb 12, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (98) battles with Florida Panthers defensemen Alex Petrovic (6) in front of goaltender James Reimer (34) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to get value for a high draft pick after they’ve struggled to score in the NHL. The good news is most of these players (Brule, Sheppard, Paajarvi) were traded a year from where Puljujarvi currently is in his career. There’s time for him to turn it around. If the Oilers wanted to make a move soon, they could expect a decent middle-six guy or perhaps a top-six guy if they packaged a draft pick with Puljujarvi. Peter Chiarelli needs to win now. A veteran forward who can score 40 points might be attractive to him.

Patience could be the best option. Jonathan Drouin requested a trade three years after being drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Drouin scored 0.45 points per game at that point, far more than Puljujarvi, but the Lightning didn’t trade him. Drouin returned next season and scored 53 points. The Lightning traded him the following summer for Mikhail Sergachev, who was a year removed from being drafted ninth overall by Montreal.

I’d look for other young players who haven’t established themselves, like a diet version of the Maxi Domi-Alex Galchenyuk trade.

Wait too long and you’re looking at a third-round draft pick or bottom-six forward in return.

  • GRC

    “Patience could be the best option.”

    That pretty much sums things up right there. No need for a knee jerk reaction on this player. Contrary to what many people might think sending Jesse to the AHL is not a negative. The only way it becomes a negative is if Jesse and his agent make it a negative.

    • bcoil

      I couldn’t agree with you more .The problem here is Jesse’s agents are yapping in his ear and they are not giving him good advise.If they keep it up her will end up in the KHL and the agents will miss out on some big pay checks

  • Oilforlife78

    Way too soon to write this kid off. Send him to Bakersfield and let him play against the guys he dominated in the pre-season. Not every player is NHL ready immediately. Big bodied players tend to take longer to get coordinated for the NHL game.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    The Oilers have a long history of first round draft with a lot of talent and not being able to get anything out of them potential wise and then letting them go for not a lot and that list gets longer and longer…. Linus Omark, Magnus Paajarvi, Nail Yakupov looks like Jesse name but be there after the season too ~sigh~

  • CRONENBERG

    I’m very curious, why did Columbus pass on him. Did they see something others didn’t? It’s pretty frustrating seeing Pierre-Luc Dubios get 20 goals last season.

  • VvV

    Oilersnation is turning out a lot of trash pieces lately. Perhaps those running the website/social media should stick to reviewing donairs, because they seem to know little to nothing about hockey.

      • What the Puck

        Lol no doubt. We could lure horcoff out of retirement. And he would out perform strome. Should send him to Arizona to be with his brother. We will do it for lowest paid player on the roster.

      • Big Nuggets

        it is Oilersnation’s job to trash every player that isn’t playing well and incite the mob to get their pitchforks sharpened? Not defending Strome but if hit pieces are all you’re after then maybe take a break.

  • JayTee

    The fact it’s come to this, is a black mark on the organization. This kid should be a 30 goal scorer right now, playing with Connor n Leon, not on the 3rd and 4th lines. What a joke management is treating the kid the way they have.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      How much responsibility should fall on the player? Zero?
      Have you seen Jesse play hockey? That boy is Forest Gump on skates right now. Fast (speed) and slow (hockey I.Q.). He is about 18 months away from telling “I could’ve been a contender” stories in his hometown pub. I agree the Oilers could’ve handled things better, but c’mon already… Jesse has to show SOMETHING.

      • Jerri Kurli

        Thank you!!! I’m so sick of idiots trashing the coach and organization for JP’s performance. This is an extremely experienced NHL coaching staff. There might be a wild chance they do in fact know how to develop quality NHL hockey players. The guy has been a disappointment, plain and simple. He (at times) shows us a glimpse of the hype, and there is no question that he has lots of skill, but the guy is a meat head. My personal opinion is quit blaming the coach, quit blaming the GM (Every GM in the league would have pounced on him at 4), blame Yakupov, uh I Mean Pulijarvi. The guys a bust, trade him while you can still get value for him.

      • Bills Bills

        The funny thing is, in his junior year playing at the worlds, he was touted as the hockey wizard. Scoring and setting up players like Laine. He was on another level and not one scout questioned his hockey IQ. So tell me how he has become Forrest Gump?

  • OilersGM

    Trading him would be a mistake IMO especially when selling low and it’s the same GM making the deal. We all know what happens when you do that, no need to remind everyone of it.

  • Cowboy Bill

    They need to make a decision soon . Before the league figures out he isn’t NHL material . Then they will get next to nothing . Trade him today with a conditional draft pick to the Pens for Ollie Matta .

  • oilredemption

    The way to handle this is exactly how Stevie Y did in Tampa with Drouin. You want to play in the top 6 or trade You? Fine down to the farm you go! Once you figure it out and put the work in you will get both your wishes granted. (Called up, played top 6, played very well and sent packing for a high end D prospect). But who are we kidding this is Pete vs Steve and we all know who can evaluate a trade…

  • McHughes

    I do have a problem with this guy.

    Learn English. You know your going to be a top 5 pick. His dedication to the game seems questionable.

    Either hes dumb or lazy. Maybe both.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Jesse’s trade value is low right now, they may get a couple picks and a very marginal AHL; player. If Jesse was playing regulary and putting up 30 or 40 points they could get a fair bit, but Chia will wait till the last minute like with Maroon and Hall and get next to nothing for him.

    Chia’s ass is in a sling, Jesse wont be back if TM is here and he will go to europe or the KHL, if he signs back with Oil it will be a miracle. Chia and TM screwed this up so bad, there is no market and what there is isnt going to be much

  • Oil9744

    I don’t think people realize how bad this could be for the oilers, they really needed both JP and Yamo producing this season with how bad our depth is on the RW, now that BOTH of them have played bad Edmonton is in a worse spot then they were to start the season on the RW. Rattie, Drake, Chiasson, Kassian is not going to cut it for the rest of the season. Edmonton is going to have to make a trade to shore up the right side cause Connor, Leon, and Nuge can’t do it every night and we’re seeing the lack of scoring depth already. In between players No trade clauses and almost zero cap space I don’t know what ol pistol Pete is gonna do now, but he better do something or he’s gonna be down the road.

  • Heschultzhescores

    We need to draft guys with high hockey IQ’s. Yak and Jesse clearly are kids in the head. How do our scouts not factor maturity into our biggest picks? These 1st round picks are not a time to take chances.

  • Justino

    This trade probably wouldn’t happen but how about puljujarvi + 2nd rounder for Nylander? Oilers get a more established winger that can play with McDavid and Toronto gets a blue chip prospect that could be just as good and cheaper then Nylander in a years time for a player that they can’t sign. Toronto would probably prefer a defenseman but we know how high the price is for one of them.

  • Kelly Youngblood

    AHL until he’s close to a point per game player. Then try the old pump & dump. Give him top 6 minutes while he’s riding the wave and trade him. I wonder if Montreal would consider Noah Juulsen for JP. 2015 1st round selection, right shot D man. The Habs have a great young Finnish group for JP to grow with. Oilers might have to sweeten that deal a bit.

  • Ben918

    I agree with Gordo. Chiarelli wouldn’t get anything for Pulj. You give it a few weeks, when the Oilers are out of the playoffs you bring him back up and play him on the top line. He will look great like Rattie and Caggiula do. Then you trade him at the deadline. HOPE to get a second round pick for him.

  • Hockeytalkguy

    I just don’t understand why he hasn’t been sent down yet. There is obviously some behind the scenes stuff going on. This whole topic is getting to be INSANITY. He’s not playing well, has no confidence…..for crying out loud make a decision with this kid.

  • KennyG

    Wow why are the Oilers always involved in this type of deal? Yamo will be ready next year and can spot up any time. JP I agree is 2 full years away from seeing nhl ice time. He’s not mentally tough enough. Yet. NHL is No country for boys.

  • Bills Bills

    JP should have went back to Europe in his draft year. Come to training camp the next year further developed. Then likely sent to the AHL. This should be his rookie season in the NHL and he should be ready to dominate rookie scoring. Maybe not at the rate that Pettersson kid in Vancouver is, but he should be a solid rookie ready for top six minutes.

    Too bad the Oilers are always rushing. Thankfully they sent Bouchard back. I hope that JP can get his legs under him and develop. Trading him now is probably not a good idea but if they truly screwed him up, might as well get something useful.