Opinion: Canadiens Should Acquire Jesse Puljujarvi

On the heels of a 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators, I think it is time Montreal gets creative to find some scoring help.
Jesse Puljujarvi, a highly-touted prospect that fell into the Oilers hands in the 2016 draft. He was expected to be the perfect partner for a player like Connor McDavid, and could help create one of the greatest scoring lines alongside McDavid and Draisaitl.

Then it all came crashing down.

Puljujarvi made it clear he would not return to Edmonton, and opted to sign a contract and head back to Finland, but made sure to have an NHL opt-out clause in case Puljujarvi gets dealt.

Many fans blindly assume this is due to an oversized ego on the side of Puljujarvi, but fail to notice the massive failures on the part of the Oilers. This is a team that forced him to play through a pair of hip injuries, which many reporters have pointed out, saying that the Oilers did not take him seriously when he told them he was hurt. This is a team that has routinely mismanaged their young players. The decision for Puljujarvi to leave Edmonton like this should be respected by fans and the media.

Enter Montreal.

A team in dire need of scoring help after learning Jonathan Drouin is out for 6-8 weeks after wrist surgery, possesses a relatively large group of Finnish players (a language barrier was another underlying issue with Puljujarvi), and could use another right-handed winger.

This would be an interesting deal for Edmonton, considering they are on the clock with Puljujarvi. After December 1st, he will no longer be able to sign an NHL contract for this season, and the number of possible destinations this year will plummet as a result. Meanwhile, Edmonton can use some help now while the team looks solid, so trading Puljujarvi for a roster player or even draft picks would make more sense. At least those draft picks will retain their value at the trade deadline, unlike an unsigned Puljujarvi.

Reports were coming out in the summer that Oilers GM Ken Holland wanted a 2nd round pick and a middle-6 forward to acquire Puljujarvi. Since his return to Europe, he has been lighting up the SM-liiga with 23 points in 20 games, so I would imagine the asking price has increased. Thankfully, Montreal has a pair of 2nd round picks and four 4th round picks in the upcoming draft, and some mid-tier talent to boot.

I believe this is a trade that both teams should seriously consider, if they haven't spoken about it already. There is 10 days left before the deadline to sign RFAs, and I would not be surprised if Puljujarvi trade talks begin to pick up steam.

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