Calm Your Tits on Puljujarvi, It’s Not Yamamoto’s Time… Yet.

We’re a prospects tournament and 2 pre-season games in and there’s a growing feeling amongst the Oilogosphere that maybe Kailer Yamamoto is on the road to Edmonton Oilers superstardom and Jesse Puljujarvi will be joining the Hall of Shame alongside Jason Bonsignore and Nail Yakupov…

I mean Ray Ferraro said on his podcast this week that Puljujarvi isn’t having a good camp at all… Emphasising the “at all” part…

I’m not sure who told Ferraro that but I think it’s a bunch of horse shizzle.

I might be in the minority but I don’t think that Kailer Yamamoto has been all that impressive during the pre-season games. Maybe I’m expecting more Gaudreau/St.Louis though. I mean apart from that goal where he gobbled up the pizza Giordano sent up the middle and breaking Dougie Hamilton’s ankles going around him, he’s looked like a very green wide-eyed 18-year-old.

Stauffer seems to think that his “moxie” might earn him a few regular season games but I don’t see it. I think that my definition of moxie might be different that Stauff’s though. ‘Moto might be fearless but Brendan Gallagher he is not and that guy has enough moxie for the both of us.

Whereas Jesse Puljujarvi’s skating has looked much improved. Last season he looked like Bambi on ice and now he’s starting to look much more confident and powerful. He looks like he’s growing into his body now. I’ll admit he’s still trying to find his game on the offensive side of the puck but he’s been far more helpful to the team due to his defensive acumen and you know what? That might just be where he holds the most value to the team. I mean, when’s the last time you could say that that Oilers have one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL?

 

Simply put, Jesse Puljujarvi is already a leg up on Yamamoto because he knows the other side of the game. All he has to do is figure out the offense and how to get the trust of Todd McLellan (Therein lies the rub, no?). Yamamoto, I say, has both sides to sort out and he shouldn’t have to be figuring that out as a teenager in the NHL. He’s got one more year of eligibility in the WHL and he’s on the verge of becoming a legend for the Spokane Chiefs as well as the World Juniors are going to be his show.

Yamamoto, I say, has both sides to sort out and he shouldn’t have to be figuring that out as a teenager in the NHL. He’s got one more year of eligibility in the WHL and he’s on the verge of becoming a legend for the Spokane Chiefs as well as the World Juniors are going to be his show.

It’s imperative that the Oilers take the Mark Scheifele/Mitch Marner/Alex Debrincat route with Yamamoto. There’s really no rush to get him into the lineup this year or next for that matter.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Yamamoto. I dig his style of play and I’m really impressed with his attitude but I want the team to do him right and let’s avoid another Sam Gagner incident.

‘Moto is going to be a good Edmonton Oiler, I just don’t believe it should be this year no matter how good he looks in training camp.

Now let’s dig into Pulju a bit here.

Last year Jesse had 8pts in 28 games for about a .286 PPG. Prorated, that’s about 23 pts which puts him beside other such 18-year-old rookies as:

  • Nathan Horton – 55gp/22pts
  • Tyler Seguin – 74gp/22pts
  • Gordie Howe – 58gp/22pts (No word on how many elbows he threw that year though)
  • Owen Nolan – 59gp/13pts
  • Joe Thornton – 55gp/7pts

If you just go by PPG, he fits right in with:

  • Tyler Seguin – .297 (2010/2011)
  • Scott Hartnell – .213 (2000/2001)
  • Joe Thornton – .127 (1997/1998)
  • Radek Bonk – .262 (1994/1995
  • Owen Nolan – .220 (1990/1991)

Stats from Quanthockey.com

I heard Woodguy talking about this sort of thing on Lowetide’s show yesterday and if I’m not mistaken they were chatting about this upcoming season and it being his 19-year-old year and where we should start our projections at. Woodguy said Leon, so we go Leon.

Dr.Drai had 9 pts in 37 games. I think that Puljujarvi can beat that easily, don’t you? That’s a .243 PPG, Jesse already had .286 as an 18-year-old and now he’s being lined up with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and fellow countryman Jussi Jokinen, who both have looked marvelous this pre-season. Not only that but Puljujarvi is going to get some looks on the PP.

Lowetide has his reasonable expectation for Puljujarvi sitting at 28 pts (14g 14a) and I think that’s about right. I believe I said he should be good for 30-35 pts this upcoming season IF he gets deployed in the correct manner.

More has been published recently on The Athletic and this from Reddit on Puljujarvi and other 18-year-old players in the AHL, so he’s a bit of a hot topic right now but only because the media has created it.

 

Now, the great thing about this year is that there’s competition on that RW beside Leon and it’s a shame that Anton Slepyshev is out at the moment but the brass might just send Jesse down to Bakersfield for another 25 or 30 games and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s similar to the route that Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen took.

In Rantanen’s 19-year-old season he played 9 games for Colorado and had ZERO points, the Avalanche sent him down to the AHL and he put up 60 pts in 52 games. Last year, Rantanen’s 20-year-old season, he played 75 games for the Avs and had 38pts (20g and 18a).

So if Pulju spends some time in the AHL, that shouldn’t be a surprise or a disappointment because he’s just a kid and he dominates when he’s at the right level of competition. It’s the right thing to do if he’s not ready for 3rd line minutes.

I guess what I’m really saying is there’s a distinct possibility that BOTH Puljujarvi and Yamamoto could play elsewhere this season and that I’d be okay with that but don’t tell me that Jesse Puljujarvi is a bust and don’t try to convince me that it’d be a good idea for Kailer Yamamoto to develop in the NHL this season.

I mean, how’d Ryan Smyth do in his first year? How about his second?

 

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Michelle Prefontaine

    Thank you for some logic in the Oilogosphere. I’m as passionate a Oiler fan as the next person but I hate when the media and fans jump on the bandwagon in a negative fashion with a particular player. It never ends well- see Schultz J., Eberle, and many before them. Give the kid a chance before moving on to our next new shiny toy.

  • Truthhurts98

    JP still needs to use his frame a bit better and hit more but he’s 19. Same age basically as Kailer. But JP is going to be a big stud RW for this team. Another year/few more AHL games won’t hurt. Heck the Oilers could sign Jagr as insurance just in case, but I doubt they will. Puljujarvi is big and can skate so he’ll develop fine. I agree, the media is putting too much pressure and scrutiny on him. Yamamoto will be sent back to junior, not to worry. He’ll make the team next year I think.