If and when the Edmonton Oilers trade Jesse Puljujarvi (seems more like when than if) there will be plenty of options for the winger who hasn’t quite reached his NHL potential. Teams may view Puljujarvi as a reclamation project, but a select few will also see him as a salary cap dump that has the potential to be a home run addition at an extremely low cost. In fact, some teams will see acquiring Puljujarvi as an opportunity to pick up a player and get a sweetener in the deal if the Oilers are stuck.

NHL insider Frank Seravalli recently took a deep dive into what Puljujarvi is and isn’t and mentioned a number of trade candidates. He writes, “The Blackhawks, Sabres, Ducks, Coyotes, Canadiens and Blue Jackets are all among the teams that would readily take on Puljujarvi’s contract for the right asset in return from Edmonton.” This article will focus on three teams that might be interested in the player based simply on the fact they have room to add him.


Buffalo Sabres Have the Cap Flexibility to Be Wrong

There is always the potential Puljujarvi never realizes his potential in the NHL. He seems to be establishing himself on the Oilers roster in a different kind of role (one that doesn’t include scoring) but his ceiling as a No. 4 overall pick appears to have changed. Any team willing to add him needs to be comfortable with that.

The Sabres make sense here. They have more deadline cap space than any other team and they can afford to sign him to a new deal that includes two or three seasons just to keep his cap hit low. The Sabres just need to be aware of future contracts for some big-name talent coming into their own, so a lower AAV is wise. They can use the rest of this season to see if he’s got something worth considering. If he isn’t, they can choose not to qualify him and let him hit the free agent market.