Who Should Be The Edmonton Oilers First Line Wingers?

Edmonton Oilers celebration win. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers celebration win. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujärvi, #13.
Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujärvi, #13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Jesse Puljujarvi

With all the trade talk that has followed Jesse Puljujarvi this offseason I am happy that he has stayed an Edmonton Oilers forward. I think he has to much potential to just give up on. I think his potential will slowly turn into reality this season.

This is why I have him on the Edmonton Oilers first line Connor McDavid. He has spent a fair amount of time on that line both during the regular season as well as in playoffs in the past, so we know Woodcroft is okay with that line combo.

Puljujarvi had an excellent start to last season. Unfortunately for Puljujarvi he got a sick with COVID, non-COVID illness and then got injured as the season went on. With all of those things happening he lost his grove and couldn’t get it back.

Even though he wasn’t scoring much I think he added lots to this lineup. His speed and size make him a good fit on McDavid’s line. If this offseason he worked on his puck skills he could come into training camp looking like more complete player.

On this line with Kane and McDavid, Puljujarvi, would likely be looked at to be the more defensive minded player. Kane and McDavid will be the ones looked on to provide the offence while Puljujarvi  is a player who will be able to keep the defensive aspect on his mind.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be able to contribute on the offensive end of the ice. I think if Puljujarvi plays the whole season on the first line with McDavid and Kane, Jesse should have no problem scoring 20 goals.

Edmonton Oilers First Line Will Be The Best In The NHL

With all the weapons on this current Edmonton Oilers team opposing teams will need to split up between defending the Draisaitl line and the McDavid line. That means it will be unlikely that McDavid and the first line will always be facing the top shutdown players.

In the case that the opposition does put all the shutdown eggs in the McDavid basket then the second line ran by Leon Draisaitl will take over the game. The means that I think most teams will split up the shutdown lines.

For example I think McDavid will face the shutdown forward group and Draisaitl will face the shutdown defensive pairing. It will really come down to if they want to let one line fire all all cylinders or have both fire at half.

It will put opposing team in a tough position, because of this I think the Edmonton Oilers first line will be nearly unstoppable. There is no line in hockey that I think that can compete with the skill, speed and toughness of the Kane, McDavid, Puljujarvi line.

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