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Oil Drops: Winnipeg/Columbus Blockbuster, Maybe “We’ll See” Puljujärvi On The Top Line Soon

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A blockbuster deal between Winnipeg and Columbus, plus Coach Tippet plays his cards close

Columbus Blue Jackets v Nashville Predators
Pierre-Luc Dubois is headed to the Peg for Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic
Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

We’ve moved on from the Oilers / Leafs split to talk about a trade between the Winnipeg Jets and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Jets have finally rid themselves of Patrick Laine (which I think is bonkers) for the unhappy-in-Columbus Pierre-Luc Dubois. Columbus also gets Jack Roslovic, the Jets receive a third round pick.

I think the Jackets won this deal while trading from a position of perceived weakness. The Jets get a top six centre shooting 12% and is a good bet to be a 50 point player during a full season, but the Jets pick up a player who has scored at least 30 goals in every full season since his freshman year in 2017-18. Patrick Laine has some issues in his game without the puck, but Laine is two years removed from a 44 goal season while he was on a bit of a heater. I don’t think 35 goals is really too out of the realm of realistic possibilities for a ful season of Patrick Laine.

Really, the Oilers won the deal because they won’t face either of Patrick Laine or Pierre-Luc Dubois because Dubois needs to quarantine for two weeks before playing in a game. Eyes -on the prize.

Onward.

After yesterday’s 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs, it occurred to me (and everyone else) that the club is still having scoring issues. They played a better game than Wednesday’s win, so there’s some good, but the club still isn’t hitting the right notes on the scoresheet.

Late in Friday’s game, we got to see a couple of shifts with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Jesse Puljujärvi. Puljujärvi hasn’t scored a goal this season so far (he picked up an assist on Leon Draisaitl’s game winner in Wednesday night’s 3-1 victory over the Leafs), but his numbers 5 on 5 are promising. Only Connor McDavid has a higher 5v5 xG/60 (1.5) on the club than Jesse Puljujärvi does currently (1.26). That’s nearly three times higher than where current 1RW occupant Zack Kassian is sitting (0.45 5v5 xG/60).

The samples sizes are small, but encouraging for number 98 13. If I’ve got a player on my third line looking to score nearly three times as often as the player playing with the best player in the world, I might take a second look at it.

Coach Tippett’s “we’ll see” leaves the door open for tomorrow night’s game versus the Jets, though it’s encouraging to hear him take notice of Puljujärvi’s hard work.

I guess we’ll see where it leads soon enough.