Throwback Thursday: This week five years ago, Edmonton Oilers draft Jesse Puljujarvi, trade Taylor Hall and sign Milan Lucic
Photo credit:Ed Kaiser/Postmedia
By Zach Laing1 year ago
Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!
So uh, yeah. Five years ago this week there was a lot to unpack, so let’s digest it all now!
The first domino to fall was the draft choice of Jesse Puljujarvi on June 24. We all know his up and down start to his NHL career and his subsequent return to Finland, but last year showed he’s returned as a different player.
This year he scored 15 goals and 25 points in 55 games showing dynamic ability as a two-way player. A strong forechecker, tenacious after the puck and engaging physically are all aspects of his game that have resurfaced in his return to the league.
Drafting Puljujarvi was what then general manager Peter Chiarelli said led, at least partially, to the trade of Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson.
That trade has been highly contested since day one and likely will be until the end of time. Larsson’s game had finally turned around last year after battling injuries, and he was a good second pair defenceman for the Oilers. Despite that, Hall continues to be a dynamic offensive force that has won an MVP and scored at a solid clip wherever he went.
Moving Hall opened up a spot for Chiarelli to ink Milan Lucic to a seven-year, $6-million AAV deal that blew up in the Oilers faced sooner than anyone hoped. The concern was there over the length of the deal from the get-go, but the Oilers were really only able to squeeze maybe two good years out of him.
The aforementioned Puljujarvi was anchored to Lucic through his first three seasons and that surely didn’t help his development much, either. Lucic was dealt to Calgary for James Neal, a player who is likely a buyout candidate this offseason.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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