Oilers forward may have played his last game in Edmonton

Matt Garland
June 8, 2022  (4:10 PM)

Ryan Rishaug was on TSN 1260 Edmonton reporting that the Oilers are significantly prioritizing Kailer Yamamoto over Jesse Puljujarvi. There is a possibility that Puljujarvi has played his last game in an Oilers uniform.

The Oilers head into the offseason with a little over 7,000,000 in cap space according to capfriendly. They have RFAs Ryan McLeod, Kailer Yamamoto, and Jesse Puljujarvi to sign with the two latter having arbitration rights. They need decide what they are doing with controversial winger Evander Kane and need to sign a capable goalie to share the net with veteran Mike Smith.
Things are going to be tight for GM Ken Holland and the Oilers. They will need to make some tough decisions with their roster.
The former 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft managed 14 goals and 36 points in 65 games during the regular season. He only put up 2 goals and 3 points in 16 playoff games. He was getting more minutes this season averaging 16:13 per game. He's done a ton of things well, but if you watched him early on, it was clear this was going to be a breakout season for the big Finn and these playoffs were a good opportunity for him to finally silence critics who didn't look at his underlying numbers to determine his value. If he could find his scoring touch and deliver strong metrics, there would be no doubt Puljujarvi is a key part of the Oilers' future but things haven't worked out that way.
The 22nd overall pick in the 2017 Draft finished the regular season with 20 goals and 41 points in 81 games. He was averaging 16:52 per game during the regualr season. He finished the playoffs with 2 goals and 7 points in 14 games. By eye Yamamoto is already a strong defensive player with the potential of becoming an elite one. He fearlessly engages opponents, makes a beeline for the puck in all three zones, has an «active stick» and a top-notch understanding of both passing and shooting lanes.
The numbers don't lie Yamamoto has outperformed Puljujarvi so far in their young NHL careers. With so little cap space and so many needs to fill on the Oilers roster Puljujarvi might become a cap casualty.
8 JUIN   |   457 ANSWERS
Oilers forward may have played his last game in Edmonton

If you GM Ken Holland who are you trading off the roster to get more cap space?

Jesse Puljujarvi17838.9 %
Zack Kassian17638.5 %
Warren Foegele5211.4 %
Kailer Yamamoto5111.2 %
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