Kailer Yamamoto Or Jesse Puljujärvi

Jesse Puljujarvi #13, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Puljujarvi #13, Edmonton Oilers Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Coming up this offseason the Edmonton Oilers are going to have re-sign or sign players in order to fill in roster spots of the players that are either moving on to another team or retiring. Unfortunately for the Edmonton Oilers they don’t have much cap space to get this done easily.

This means that Ken Holland is going to have to make some tough decisions on who he is going to want to stay and who is going to have to move on from the Edmonton Oilers. One of the biggest choices for Ken Holland is will he be able to keep both Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujärvi.

Looking at the current cap numbers it looks like a very difficult chance that they can sign both to raises. This mean one will get signed and one will get traded. The only question is which way do you go with that move.

Jesse Puljujärvi

Jesse Puljujärvi was an over a 0.5 point/game player last season. As a support player in the top 6 that is about average. He had a hot start to the season then he got hit with the injury and illness bug. After that he had a fairly pedestrian rest of the season and playoffs. In the 16 playoff games he had only 3 points and finished with a +/- or +2.

Puljujärvi is a 6’4″, 201lbs forward who was the 4th overall pick in 2016. I believe there is still room to grow in his game. He showed glimpses of it at the beginning of this season. I would have loved to see his numbers had he not have gotten injured.

Kailer Yamamoto

Kailer Yamamoto averages 0.2 goals per game throughout his NHL career. He had an opposite season of Puljujärvi. He had a sluggish start then started to heat up at the end of the season.  In the postseason Yamamoto got more points than Puljujärvi getting 7 points, but his +/- was worse finishing a -6 through the playoffs.

Yamamoto is a 5’8″, 153lbs winger who was picked 22nd overall in 2017. Currently I think that Yamamoto is the better player out of the two. His size is the only issues. You can’t teach size, I worry that at some point he may get injured going against defenseman that are 7″ taller and 50 lbs heavier than him.

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Edmonton Oilers will Sign one, Trade one

The most likely way that these two players get sorted out is the Edmonton Oilers will sign one of these two RFA’s and trade away the other. This looks like the only way this is going to work, at least cap wise.

One thing we need to look at in trading away one of these players is not only what they can add to the Edmonton Oilers in their play, but what they can bring back in a trade if traded. You have to look at both sides of the coin in these moves.