Lowetide: What’s true within the tales of Jesse Puljujarvi and the Oilers?

As the new days of summer time give strategy to the normal coolness of an Alberta fall, Edmonton Oilers followers are nonetheless questioning how the staff will fare regardless of the tight caps that summer time shopping for has left them in.

The membership’s basic supervisor, Ken Holland, stated earlier than the beginning of the offseason massive deal that issues may bleed in September and now the roster does.

Followers have been poring over choices all through the offseason, bouncing from Jesse Puljujarvi at Tyson Barrie at Warren Foegele and these days once more in Puljujarvi.

Edmonton has doubled, then a part of the inhabitants because the Oilers entered the NHLhowever rumors concerning the hockey membership unfold like wildfire throughout the open prairie.

Such is the case of Puljujarvi. There are tales that he is an underdog on the roster, unable to play with high-end abilities, not value some huge cash, sad in Edmonton, and would have been handled a very long time in the past if groups had supplied an inexpensive return.

In April, Daniel Nugent-Bowman and I addressed Puljujarvi’s criticisms at Athleticism and supplied proof that critics missed the target whereas in-depth participant evaluation confirmed actual worth.

There have been reliable issues then, together with the problem of discovering house for all of Puljujarvi, Evander Kane and Kailer Yamamoto. These points have been resolved, a minimum of for now, however the ceiling compliance lingers off like an Alberta mower.

Here is one other take a look at the participant’s damaging opinions and the one situation that would presumably drive a commerce.

“Outsider on the Listing”

There isn’t any strategy to inform what’s actually happening behind the scenes or ‘within the room’, however Puljujarvi’s massive character and completely satisfied celebrations appear infectious and the tall winger has obtained phrases of help from his teammates ( notably Leon Draisaitl) over the previous two seasons.

Any frustration stemming from his play was possible as a consequence of his incapacity to ship offensively in necessary video games within the aftermath and within the playoffs. A shoulder damage contributed to the issue, though the extent shouldn’t be recognized. Visible proof steered the issue was important.

“Unable to play competently”

Puljuarvi has excellent numbers on his CV, maybe probably the most spectacular concerning his rise of any line he’s deployed on at five-to-five. Listed here are the numbers with 4 completely different facilities a yr in the past (by way of Pure Stat Trick).

Participant Purpose Diff with JP Purpose Diff with out JP

69.4

47.8

61.5

50

64.6

54.7

57.1

48.5

There’s some overlap in these minutes, however the gist of the purpose comes by way of. Puljujarvi, no matter his shortcomings, will increase the objective share to 5 in opposition to 5 within the lineup.

This can be a important level for the participant and tends to be ignored as JP is a complementary marker.

The counter of the above numbers is usually that Connor McDavid is elite and floats all boats, however the numbers present that Puljujarvi helps to outperform on all strains. A spotter can see how he flips pucks, usually in open ice, which creates alternatives for the captain. It is extra of an ad-lib model in comparison with Yamamoto’s method, however it’s labored nicely and there is no motive to imagine it will cease anytime quickly.

One of many secondary arguments about Puljujarvi is his perceived lack of offense whereas enjoying excessive finish abilities. Listed here are the 2021-22 numbers for Edmonton’s most deployed proper wingers.

Participant 5 v 5 Pts-60 PP pts-60 Pts-60

1.62

4.4

2.05

1.48

5.41

1.8

1.28

6.3

1.67

Puljujarvi can be eclipsed if changed by Draisaitl on the suitable wing in 97, or Patrick Kane, which has been rumored all summer time as a commerce possibility that would arrive earlier than or in the course of the season. As issues stand, primarily based on the expertise obtainable, Puljujarvi belongs within the dialog as a lot as anybody.

“Not definitely worth the cash”

The participant, agent and staff did a very good job to get Puljujarvi to signal a one-year deal over the summer time. On the participant facet, an extended, greater contract was the objective (former World Juniors teammate Patrick Laine has a cap of $8.7 million now over the following 4 years), however $3 million was a very good compromise quantity for everybody concerned.

The issue is future contracts and that could be a concern. For 82 video games over the previous two seasons, Puljujarvi is averaging 20-22-42 and my estimates for this season, have him come round these totals.

If Puljujarvi delivers that type of offense in 2022-23, along with his spectacular five-on-five possession numbers, what’s going to the following (long-term) contract appear to be? Would Holland and his administration group be prepared to pay greater than $5 million for an extended contract subsequent summer time?

“The participant shouldn’t be completely satisfied”

Puljujarvi has simply signed his third contract with the group, the second with Holland. No matter the issue, it has not reached the purpose of no return.

“No cheap return”

Throughout Puljujarvi’s time in Finland (2019-20), there have been rumors of depth picks (second spherical or later) and names like Julien Gautier (then from Carolina Hurricanes) as attainable choices.

Again then, Puljujarvi’s resume wasn’t as robust as it’s at present, so it is cheap to counsel that the payoff can be increased than what was rumored to be a number of years in the past.

Is there a state of affairs the place Edmonton would deal JP, at $3 million for a yr, for a second-round decide? Relying on what he brings and Edmonton’s upcoming push for the Stanley Cup, a prime inside possibility ought to emerge. Probably the most promising obtainable, Xavier Bourgault, turns professional this fall.

The underside line

The necessary query right here is: do the Oilers need to signal the massive Finnish winger long-term after this season? The participant’s usefulness is evident on each line, and there’s a probability he’ll emerge as a driver of a 3rd line within the 2022-23 season. Listed here are the most efficient 5-on-5 strains he was a part of final season.

Line Ice time Targets-60 Sharing objectives

Hyman-McDavid-Puljujarvi

244

2.71

61.11

Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi

159

4.52

63.2

Kane-McDavid-Puljujarvi

160

3.74

90.9

Hyman-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi

58

4.04

57.1

Foegele-McLeod-Puljujarvi

43

1.4

50

Puljujarvi is a complementary attacking participant, that is clear whenever you take a look at the objectives/60 totals for every line. If McDavid or Draisaitl are usually not on his line, then the offensive acquire shouldn’t be noticeable. Nonetheless, the massive man does a very good job of outperforming irrespective of his task, and that has worth.

In July, I wrote about five specific moments in Puljuarvi’s profession when Oilers administration mishandled the participant. All of these items occurred earlier than Holland arrived.

Rumors of big contracts or commerce calls for dissipated, and Holland held agency all the best way.

The reality about Puljujarvi and the Oilers? It has been a productive relationship and will proceed so long as it’s a helpful contract. It is the one factor that issues.

It may very well be a giant season for Puljujarvi and the Oilers. Issues may very well be very completely different the following time Edmonton hosts the summer time.

(Photograph: Perry Nelson/USA Right this moment)

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