The agent for Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi is not expecting an imminent trade for his client.
Speaking with Timo Kunnari of Finnish outlet Iltalehti, Markus Lehto, Puljujarvi’s agent, doesn’t believe the oft-rumoured ticket out of Edmonton will come until sometime around the NHL’s trade deadline on March 3, if at all.
“I don’t think it will happen on this particular date,” Lehto said, according to Google Translate. “Later in the spring, when the deadline for player trades approaches, these things will start to happen again on a larger scale.”
Puljujarvi was a healthy scratch in a 5-2 win against the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.
He is expected to be scratched for a second straight game after the return of Evander Kane and was one of three Oilers forwards reportedly placed on the trade block, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.
“I’m told the Oilers engaged in conversation with a couple teams about someone like Jesse Puljujarvi and I think the conversations were actually pretty promising on that front,” Seravalli said on Daily Faceoff’s Icebreakers episode Monday.
“Puljujarvi did generate some interest from a handful of teams in the NHL, which is good news for the Oilers as it gets closer to the trade deadline because a lot of people were wondering if the Oilers might have to actually trade an asset in order to move on from Puljujarvi and his $3 million cap hit.
“Right now it remains to be seen what kind of cap issues the Oilers have over the next month when Yamamoto does end up [getting] healthy. Keep in mind, Puljujarvi is potentially an exit ramp for the Oilers to get out of those issues for their cap.”
Puljujarvi, the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, has four goals in 45 games this season and has long been the subject of speculation and trade rumours that extend well beyond Edmonton’s current cap crunch.
The 24-year-old is a pending restricted free agent at season’s end.
“Jesse can find his game in the Oilers and continue there. Or there might be a trade ahead on some schedule. Or the Oilers need room in their salary cap, and Jesse will be put on the waivers list,” Lehto said.