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Monday Mailbag – Is Klim Kostin sticking when everyone is healthy?

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
1 month ago
Happy Monday, dear Internet friends, and welcome to a brand new edition of the Mailbag to help you start your week and break down everything that’s happening with our beloved Edmonton Oilers. This week we’re looking at Jesse Puljujarvi’s Finnish interview, Klim Kostin winning the fans over, Stuart Skinner, and a whole lot more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at baggedmilk@oilersnation.com or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.
Nov 30, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (13) talks with referee Beau Halkidis (48) during the second period of a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
1) @JTShark3 asks – How much damage did Jesse Puljujarvi’s Finnish interview do to his value in a simple trade?
Jason Gregor:
Very little. He had none due to one goal and a $3m cap hit.
Robin Brownlee:
The reality is Puljujarvi’s value is already very low. This won’t help with that, but I’m not going to hammer the kid for speaking out honestly about his lack of confidence.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
I don’t think that much. Whenever a player being unhappy becomes public knowledge, teams will try to use that as a bargaining chip but let’s be honest, it wasn’t exactly a secret before that the two sides would like to split up. I don’t think this will hurt a potential return any more than his on-ice struggles have.
Baggedmilk:
I wrote about Jesse on Saturday, but I don’t think his trade value is going to get any lower. I feel for the kid right now because he was speaking honestly about his lack of confidence, and it was a tough read.
Dec 7, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Klim Kostin (21) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period against the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
2) @Sherzz10 asks – Is Klim Kostin sticking? Do you see him being sent back once players get activated from IR?
Jason Gregor:
Foegele can be activated and no one goes down. When McLeod comes back I assume Malone will go down. I don’t see Kostin going anywhere. He has been a solid addition.
Robin Brownlee:
I like his game. So does Woodcroft based on what he’s said. My guess is he sticks for at least a while.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
Hell yes he’s sticking! That man is going to be a fan favourite around here for a while. He brings everything you want in a bottom six winger and he’s lovable. What more could you want?
Baggedmilk:
Has to stick. He brings a style to the bottom six that is unique to this group, and for that reason, we need him in the lineup.
Nov 16, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers goaltender Stuart Skinner (74) makes a save during warmup against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
3) James in Peterborough asks – Clearly, the Oilers have a conundrum in goal. Stuart Skinner is clearly outplaying Campbell, and it’s not close. How do you think they should deploy them in the short term?
Jason Gregor:
Skinner has been the starter since November 12th. He has earned it. I see it as a positive that Skinner has stepped up during Campbell’s struggles and now Campbell will need to play well just to split time moving forward.
Skinner will be the starter until Campbell puts together consecutive solid efforts.
Robin Brownlee:
Play the best guy. That’s as basic as it gets.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
You don’t want to over work Skinner, but you need to keep giving him the big games. Campbell will get on a run eventually, but you can’t sacrifice results just for the sake of getting the $5 million man going. It’s Skinner’s net until he loses it and they should treat him like a number one goalie that’s going to play 50-55 games this season.
Baggedmilk:
I was surprised Campbell didn’t get the start against Arizona but when you’ve got a guy playing as well as Skinner is right now, you’ve gotta go with the hot hand.
Nov 30, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) warms up before a game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
4) @digaa17 asks – Where would you play RNH? If 3C, then where do you slot in McLeod? Do you see Jesse as the best fit with either of these centres?
Jason Gregor:
At this point, I don’t see JP as the best fit for any centre. Many other wingers are playing better than him.
Robin Brownlee:
If McDavid and Draisaitl are playing together as they have been, RNH remains the team’s second centre. When has Jesse shown to be a “best fit” with anybody? He could play with RNH, but best fit? I don’t know.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
Nugent-Hopkins is producing in a top-six skill role and they should continue to play him there. McLeod can be the 3C with Puljujarvi and Nugent-Hopkins should either be the 2C if you’re going to keep 29/97 together or he should be on LW next to Draisaitl. There ya go Oilers, I solved it. Hire me as head coach.
Baggedmilk:
The nice thing about Nuge is that you can stick him where you need him, but my ideal spot for him is on the wing with McDavid or Draisaitl. As for what that means for Jesse, I think he’s best on the third line where he doesn’t have the pressure of playing in the top six.
Nov 26, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Dylan Holloway (55) celebrates with Edmonton Oilers center Ryan McLeod (71) after Holloway’s goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports
5) @MarpsN asks – Who do you think is gonna take the biggest step forward between now and the end of the season? By that I mean which underperforming player/rookie will make the biggest difference as the season goes on?
Jason Gregor:
Dylan Holloway. I don’t think he has underperformed, but I think he will get more opportunities over the next few months.
Robin Brownlee:
He’s not underperforming, but let’s see more from Kostin.
Tyler Yaremchuk:
Klim Kostin!!! I have named myself president of the Klim Kostin Fan Club and he will be featured in most of my mailbag answers going forward.
Baggedmilk:
I was going to say Klim Kostin, but to be different I’ll go with Holloway. The kid is starting to look more and more comfortable with each at-bat, and I’m hopeful that he’ll be contributing a little bit more down the stretch if the plan is to keep him up with the Oilers.

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