Should The Edmonton Oilers Move Yamamoto Over Puljujarvi?

Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi #13. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi #13. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /

If you have followed the Edmonton Oilers even a little bit over the last few years you should know of the Jesse Puljujarvi saga. Now it sounds like the saga may be coming to an end as it sounds like every potential trade the Oilers do involves the former 4th overall pick.

The main reason I think his name comes up is his cap hit. If the Edmonton Oilers want to make a trade for an impact player the Oilers are going to need to send money the other way.  Puljujarvi has a cap hit of $3 million. This means the Oilers could acquire a $6 million player if the other team retains half.

If the Edmonton Oilers wanted to get a little bit more back in return I think that Kailer Yamamoto may be a better option to trade than Puljuarvi. Yamamoto prior to this season has played better than Puljujarvi. Unfortunately for Yamamoto, he has struggled with injuries so far this season.

Yamamoto has a cap hit of $3.1 million and still has a year left on his contract after this season. It may end up working in the Oilers favour if they were to move Yamamoto over Puljujarvi due to the extra year. He isn’t just a rental player whereas Puljujarvi may be just that.

Puljujarvi is due to be an RFA at the end of this season, but it is very unlikely that any team will qualify him at the required cap hit. This will make him a UFA and can choose where he wants to end up. With Yamamoto you have him locked up for that extra season.

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Why Should The Edmonton Oilers Move Yamamoto?

I named a couple of reasons why the other team would want to bring in Yamamoto, but there is also some reason for the Edmonton Oilers to move on from him as well.

Right now it sounds like Yamamoto is having head or concussion issues. This is why he is on LTIR now and why he also missed time earlier in the season. Availability is the best ability when it comes to professional sports. If Yamamoto isn’t playing he isn’t helping your team.

Puljujarvi hasn’t missed a game to injury yet this season and has been healthy since getting his hips worked on. He is also a larger player which will stop him from getting injured more often. When it comes to Yamamoto, just his height makes him more susceptible to head injuries.

If Yamamoto goes into a board battle his head is at the height of the larger defenseman’s shoulders. They aren’t making a dirty play they are just hitting normally, it’s just Yamamoto’s head is there. One reason the Oilers may want to move on from Yamamoto is health. Smaller players have shorter careers due to this reason.

The other reason is the extra $100K cap hit. It may be a small amount, but when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers every dollar counts. That extra could end up meaning bringing in an extra $200K if the trade partner retains half.

They Could Still Keep Them Both

As I mentioned earlier, this conversation about trading one of these two players has been going on for a long time now. It is likely because Ken Holland doesn’t want to give away either of these two for a loss.

Holland doesn’t need to trade one of them. I am glad Holland hasn’t made a trade yet. This means he is sticking to his guns and not letting players go for less than they are worth. That is the way to build a perennial contender. That is what I want more that a “quick fix”.

The trade deadline is on March 3rd this year. Till the deadline passes we won’t know the fate of either of these two players. Will one or both of them get moved or will they both stay Edmonton Oilers?

Next. Do The Edmonton Oilers Need To Go All In This Year?. dark