New York Islanders: Uncle Lou should make a move for Puljujärvi

Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

You can never have too much scoring in the NHL. With that in mind, the New York Islanders are in position to gamble on a big talent.

It’s an enviable position to be in. The New York Islanders had virtually no turnover this summer after finishing one point out of first place in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division. Of course, they did get a new number one goalie, Semyon Varlamov, to replace the departed Robin Lehner, but the forwards and defensemen remain the same.

Team President and General Manager Lou Lamoriello can afford to gamble a little. One inexpensive option could be disgruntled Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujärvi.

Training camp is less than a month away. After last season’s turnaround into a playoff team, the Isles are ready to take the next step and become a Stanley Cup contender. Even though their top-six is set, they can use some scoring depth. It’s obvious that Puljujärvi isn’t a good fit in Edmonton. The Isles can probably kill two birds with one stone by making a deal with the Oilers.

First of all, no one doubts that Puljujärvi is a talented player. After all, he was the fourth overall draft pick in 2016. The right wing has succeeded everywhere he’s played, except in Edmonton. He has two gold medals in international play. Additionally, as an 18-year-old was a key member of a Kärpät team that finished third in the Finnish League and runners-up in the European Champions League in 2016.

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If the New York Islanders could unlock his potential it would be a huge addition to a strong forward group. At the same time, Uncle Lou could send back one of his underperforming headaches, either Josh Ho-Sang or Michael Dal Colle. Whichever player it is, he could probably benefit from a change of scenery, the same as Puljujärvi.

It’s a low-risk proposition for both teams. Puljujärvi doesn’t want the Oilers, and after he failed under three different head coaches, Edmonton would do well to be rid of him. They will, however, need something in return to save a little faith. It’s the same situation on the New York Islanders side as well. Both Ho-Sang and Dal Colle have come up short in their attempts to make a positive impression in New York.

All the players mentioned are restricted free agents. None of them have done enough to earn a big payday, so money really isn’t an issue. To make the deal more palatable to the fans of each team, conditional draft picks could be included, if one of the players involved finds their NHL game in a new city. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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