Should New Jersey Devils Target Jesse Puljujarvi from Edmonton Oilers?

Jesse Puljujarvi #13 of the Edmonton Oilers in action against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on December 31, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Oilers 6-5 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jesse Puljujarvi #13 of the Edmonton Oilers in action against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on December 31, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Oilers 6-5 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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The New Jersey Devils are going to be a hot topic heading into the NHL Trade Deadline. The Devils are close to the bottom of the standings, That will have teams looking closely at them for trade pieces. They have some young players who could use a change of scenery. One player that everyone is pointing towards is Pavel Zacha.

Zacha was the top guy on the Devils on The Athletic’s trade board. He came in at number 17 on the list. P.K. Subban and Andreas Johnsson were also on the list. Those three are probably somewhat obvious trade pieces. As we said, everyone has been talking about Zacha being available. Subban is in the final year of his contract. And Johnsson just never seemed to fit on the team outside of a short stretch earlier this season

None of those names were terribly surprising, What was surprising was author Eric Duhatschek specifically naming a target the Devils could go after. He said a name that makes sense is the Edmonton Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi. It’s one thing for some of us to talk about a player in passing, but it’s much different when someone brings that up when they are seriously connected.

Would Puljujarvi make sense in a trade for the Devils? He’s young enough to make sense for the Devils timeline, and he’s a former third-overall pick who also needs a change of scenery. Puljujarvi’s value is low right now because he just got hurt and will be out close to a month, but the Devils don’t need him now.

The 23-year-old winger has 28 points in 46 games. It’s the closest he’s looked to NHL ready as he has in five years in the league. He still isn’t a great player like people thought he’d become when he was drafted.

The Devils could use another winger in the top six, but if Puljujarvi doesn’t live up to his hype, then it’s just another risk that didn’t work out. The Devils have tried this with the aforementioned Andreas Johnsson and with Tomas Tatar who they signed in the offseason. Can they do it again with Puljujarvi?

It’s still worth a shot. Maybe Puljujarvi is a 40-50 point player at his peak, but he has the talent to be a 70-point player if everything goes right. Is New Jersey the spot where everything can go right? It might be worth the risk. Is he worth more than just Pavel Zacha? Is Pavel Zacha worth more than him? There are a lot of questions the Devils need to answer before answering whether Puljujarvi is worth making a trade.