WHAT SHOULD THE EDMONTON OILERS DO WITH JESSE PULJUJARVI? | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

WHAT SHOULD THE EDMONTON OILERS DO WITH JESSE PULJUJARVI?

It seems like everyone is discussing Jesse Puljujarvi. On Wednesday, he signed his entry-level contract with the Oilers making him an official part of the roster. It also means we can talk what-ifs. Within minutes, bloggers and media started projecting, guessing, and of course, based on Edmonton's history with high-end draft choices, second-guessing what the Oilers might do.

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Will he earn a spot out of training camp and stay in Edmonton to start the season? Will he start in the AHL? How healthy is he? Would the Oilers consider bringing in a temporary right winger to give Puljujarvi the time he needs? Everyone seems to have an opinion or is asking the question - What do the Edmonton Oilers do With Jesse Puljujarvi?

Jonathan Willis wrote a piece for the Edmonton Journal.
Jason Gregor had something to say at Oilersnation.com
I even got in on the action over at Oilonwhyte.com 


Most are in agreement that based on his skill set and his physical presence, Puljujarvi seems NHL ready. He should have a respectable season and he'll be given plenty of opportunity playing with a skilled forward group in Edmonton. If he starts in Edmonton, it wouldn't be a surprise. Yet, could a respectable season be turned into a successful season with the proper player management and development? There are definite advantages to starting Jesse Puljujarvi in the AHL.

THE AHL


The AHL, a league Puljujarvi may likely dominate, is a league that will get him ready for the North American game. He'll be inundated with ice-time, he'll be used in multiple situations and he'll be prepared by a coaching staff that can relay messages as directed from above. The AHL will be his playground, preparing him for a successful NHL career. When he's called up, it will be because he's earned it; and once called up, he'll likely do whatever it takes to stay.

The benefits of slow-playing Puljujarvi's rise to stardom, for the player, appears obvious. At the same time, the Edmonton Oilers have everything to gain and literally nothing to lose. Beyond what it can do for Puljujarvi's development, delaying Puljujarvi's debut may provide the Oilers some much-needed cap relief and force the Oilers to obtain another right wing option with proven ability to produce at the NHL level.

OPTIONS


Free agency still includes some keepers. Jiri Hudler, Brad Boyes, and Radim Vrbata are all still available, short-term solutions. I'm a firm believer in acquiring tradeable assets and any one of these players has shown a fairly consistent ability to be productive. From year to year, their contributions may waiver, but they're proven NHL'ers.

What would you do? After all, who cares what I think right? For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.





Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.



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