Evander Kane, Jesse Puljujarvi, and the Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton Oilers’ GM Ken Holland isn’t going to show any of his cards when he holds his pre-draft availability with reporters at the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal this afternoon, but I expect we’ll get at least a wave update on what’s happening with Evander Kane and Jesse Puljujarvi.

Far more interesting is this: to hear Frank Seravalli tell it on the DFO Rundown this morning, there’s a possibility what happens with Kane, said to be looking for a five-year deal, and Puljujarvi, who is being offered up by Holland without a lot of interest from other teams at this point, might be connected. I don’t know if this a shot in the dark or if Seravalli has a source, but what he had to say is a lot juicier than anything we’ll get from Holland.

“I wonder about the idea of ​​trading him (Puljujarvi) to San Jose as part of helping facilitate a settlement with Evander Kane,” said Seravalli in conversation with Jason Gregor. “I think that’s a possibility. Everything is on the table with Evander Kane at the moment in terms of what happens with his contract termination dispute with the Sharks.”

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The NHL would rather avoid a hearing between Kane and the Sharks. “I think the league is hoping that,” Seravalli said. “I think the NHLPA is hoping that. There’s still no date set. I think everyone would like to have this behind them. The Sharks would like to know what their cap picture looks like. Kane would like to know how much money he is making next year. . .”

Longshot? Probably. Possible? Yes. Stay tuned.

ABOUT JESSE

May 18, 2022; Calgary, AB, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (13) collides with Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov (16) during the first period in game one of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome.

I’m somewhere in the middle on Puljujarvi, as I suspect most people are despite all the noise from opposing camps on fringes of the love-him-hate-him spectrum. What I don’t get, given how good Puljujarvi grades out according to numbers valued by the analytics crowd, is why interest in him by other teams seems to be limited.

Ryan Rishaug of TSN said tuesday just four teams are kicking tires on Puljujarvi. He characterized the potential return as “marginal” at this point. That level of interest seems remarkably low given what we’re hearing from some armchair GMs, no? The disconnect between the Oilers and Puljujarvi is the team sees him as a third-line player. That’s not a gig Puljujarvi and agent Markus Lehto are interested in. That’s not the only disconnect.

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The hockey-ops departments of every NHL team have access to the same analytics, and then some, we’re seeing on social media and blog posts from those extolling the virtues of Puljujarvi, who just turned 24. Given that, you’d think several teams would be all over Puljujarvi, but to this point, that’s not the case – at least not that we know of. What analytics are they looking at? What other factors are they weighing?

So, with all that said, what are the odds of the scenario Seravalli mentioned unfolding?

Previously by Robin Brownlee

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