The Edmonton Oilers haven’t been able to find a landing spot for forward Jesse Puljujarvi.
Puljujarvi, an analytics favourite who is coming off a career year with 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) in 65 games, is skating on the cash-strapped Oilers in camp fresh off a newly minted one-year, $3 million contract.
For longer, perhaps, than the team expected.
“There really hasn’t been much of a market there,” Frank Seravalli said on the Daily Faceoff Show on Monday. “I don’t think it’s any secret the Oilers attempted to move on from him this summer. They changed their ask. They were first looking for a player back, then looking for a pick back and I think it’s slid to this point. With Puljuajrvi on a one-year deal at $3 million, I don’t know if teams are out there looking at it saying ‘hey, we’re going to get a lot of value out of this player for $3 million.’
“Maybe on his previous contract it would’ve been different and I think at this point, there hasn’t been enough of a market there to make the Oilers want to pull the trigger.”
Puljuarvi and the team seemed headed for a split this summer, with both parties welcoming a fresh start.
“I feel good. New season,” Puljujarvi told media when camp opened nearly two weeks ago. “I think no one has to think about last year. New season. I try to do everything how good I can. Let’s see how that works out. I’m in a good spot, good shape.”
"Now is the start of everything again. I will try to be the best player I can be."
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 22, 2022
Edmonton is currently $7.5 million over the cap, according to CapFriendly, with Mike Smith and Oscar Klefbom, who make a combined $6.3 million, slated to hit long-term injured reserve.
It puts Puljujarvi’s future with the team, along with a few others, in question.
“They have some significant decisions to make on their own roster front as we get closer to setting the rosters at 5 pm ET,” Seravalli said. “The Oilers are probably going to have to put a player or two on waivers to be cap compliant, and you need everyone pulling their weight, including Puljujarvi at $3 million.”