Two areas of need for the Oilers
Jim Matheson: The Edmonton Oilers had their pro scouting meetings in Vegas. GM Ken Holland‘s wish list leading up to the trade deadline should include a right-handed, third-line center that can win faceoffs.
Another need for the Oilers is an offensive left-winger that can play on the second line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal.
Third-line center options for the Oilers
Allan Mitchell of The Athletic: The Edmonton Oilers have Connor McDavid at No. 1, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the second line, and Riley Sheahan is best suited as their fourth-line center.
Internally they don’t have the right third-line center at the moment. Options leading up to the trade deadline could include.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Ottawa Senators – a perfect fit for the Oilers but the Senators may look to re-sign the pending UFA. The price to acquire will be high.
Joel Eriksson Ek – Minnesota Wild – The Wild may be looking to shake things up under new GM Bill Guerin. His offensive side is coming around and could project as a top-nine center.
Mathieu Perreault – Winnipeg Jets – He’s playing on the wing in Winnipeg but could move to the middle in Edmonton. He can provide offense and could get some power play time. A Kris Russell for Perreault deal makes sense for both sides.
Puljujarvi could have been a nice fit on the second line
Jonathan Willis of The Athletic: The Edmonton Oilers could use some scoring help. Jesse Puljujarvi could have filled the need on the Oilers second line with RNH and James Neal.
Puljujarvi plans on finishing the season in Finland, which may be a good thing for his development though.
“I don’t think he’s planning on playing for the Edmonton Oilers, but I had players tell me that in Detroit and they did play for Detroit,” Holland said in his July 1 availability.
Holland hasn’t found the offers to date good enough to trade him.
“In some cases they’ve told me that and they didn’t play and I ended up trading them. Ultimately the most important thing is if I do trade him it’s got to be a deal I feel good about, that I think is in the best interests of this team. If something like that isn’t out there, then Jesse’s going to have to make the decision.”
The best-case scenario for the Oilers would Puljujarvi changing his mind and wanting to stay with the team. If he doesn’t change his mind, he’ll likely be moved at a discount.