The Edmonton Oilers were willing to part with key pieces of their future to land former player Taylor Hall from the New Jersey Devils last month, however, general manager Ken Holland is still considering making moves ahead of the Feb. 24 deadline.
Many teams are waiting to see what happens next in the coming weeks prior to committing to making moves to improve their roster. That’s where the Oilers stands, though they can count on potential trade chip currently outside of the organization in restricted free agent Jesse Puljujarvi.
The young forward is spending this season in Finland with Karpat, however, Holland told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic that Puljujarvi could potentially be used by the Oilers to acquire a rental for their playoff push.
“Realistically there are three to four things that could happen on Jesse Puljujarvi,” Holland said. “One, do you want to trade him in a rental? He’s a 21-year-old player who was the fourth-overall pick, do you want to trade him in a rental deal and get someone on the short term and they’re gone and that asset is gone?
“No. 2, and Jesse and his agent have made it very clear to me last summer that he didn’t want to play for the Oilers. So, I’m going to proceed along that way. So No. 2 is, do you trade him at the draft in June? That would be hockey trade versus a rental trade.
“No. 3, if you can’t find a hockey trade, he would have the decision whether he wants to play in Europe again in 2020-21 or does he want to come back to the Edmonton Oilers? I don’t know what the future brings until I start to get on the phone. As I went through the process in July and August and October, I had some offers that interested me but not enough to pull the trigger. So we’ll see.
“Again, if he’s traded at the trade deadline, do you want to trade a 21-year-old player for a rental? Depends who the rental player is I guess.”
Puljujarvi, who has posted13 goals and 30 points in 33 games with Karpat this season, could be a great asset ahead of the deadline for Edmonton.
It remains to be seen if Holland can make it happen before Feb. 24.