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New York Islanders: Jesse Puljujarvi is Not the Trade Target They Need

LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 15: Jesse Puljujarvi #98 of the Edmonton Oilers takes a break during a stop in play in the third period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on February 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights won 4-1. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 15: Jesse Puljujarvi #98 of the Edmonton Oilers takes a break during a stop in play in the third period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on February 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Golden Knights won 4-1. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Edmonton Oilers former fourth overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi has said in no uncertain terms that he wants out of Edmonton. He isn’t a player the New York Islanders should be looking to add.

Back at the start of August, the New York Islanders we’re bandied about as possible trade partner for Edmonton Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi. At the time, Edmonton Journal’s David Staple wrote about how fans were looking to trade Puljujarvi to the Islanders for Josh Ho-Sang.

More recently our friends at EmpireWritesBack.com filed a piece indicating that Jesse Puljujarvi makes for an interesting trade target for the Islanders.

In almost any other year I’d welcome bringing in a player with the potential that Jesse Puljujarvi has, even if it means trading for Ho-Sang. But the issue for the New York Islanders when it comes to trading for a guy like Puljujarvi is all about risk management.

No More Tolerance for Risk

The New York Islanders already have a number of risky propositions on the 2019-20 roster, adding another one in Jesse Puljujarvi is just too much.

The Islanders are already taking a risk with all three of their RFAs: Anthony Beauvillier, Michael Dal Colle, and Josh Ho-Sang.

After three years the Islanders still have no clue what Anthony Beauvillier is. He’s shown flashes of being a 0.70+ point-per-game player but he’s also shown that he can absolutely disappear at times. The Islanders are counting on him being that 0.70+ PPG player, that’s a risk.

We’ve seen Josh Ho-Sang so sparingly over the last few years, we don’t actually have a good account of what he can be. We’ve only ever seen him play 20 odd games at a time. We know he’s electric, we know he’s skilled, giving him a top-six is still a risk.

Michael Dal Colle finally made it to the NHL after a five-year journey. But like his two other teammates, we don’t actually know what he can bring to the table. He seems to be defensively sound. He seems to get better over time. But who knows if he can best his 0.25 points-per-game from last year. (That’s a pace of 21 points over a full season.)

And then there’s Noah Dobson. The 12th overall pick from 2018 has a strong chance at playing in the NHL this season. He’s a great prospect, but he’s still a prospect. There’s never a sure thing with unproven talent. Nail Yakupov was a first overall pick in 2012 and is out of the league now.

Adding yet another unproven player to this mix isn’t what the New York Islanders need now.

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The 6’4″ winger clearly has talent, but the Islanders don’t need a reclamation project now. If they’re going to make a move it’s going to be for an established forward who can fit into their top six. It’s not going to be someone like Jesse Puljujarvi.

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