Oilers News & Rumors: Benson, Virtanen, Puljujarvi, Holloway, Broberg

In an Edmonton Oilers news and rumors update, one player suffered an injury in the preseason which could affect the team’s plans as it relates to juggling their salary cap concerns. Meanwhile, Jake Virtanen was cut from his PTO with the team. There is talk surrounding Jesse Puljujarvi and the latest trade buzz involving him. Dylan Holloway’s chances of making the opening night roster have gone way up. Finally, who is more likely to make the Oilers’ roster, Philip Broberg or Markus Niemelaninen?

Quick Oilers News Update:

The Oilers have placed forward Mattias Janmark and defenceman Dmitri Samorukov on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the Bakersfield Condors.

Benson Injured and Could Go On LTIR

According to an updated report from Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic, “Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft calls Tyler Benson’s status week to week.” He added, “Benson watched today’s practice wearing a brace on his left knee.”

While Benson wasn’t being penned in for a spot on the roster, he was having a strong preseason and there was an outside chance he could make the team. At the same time, the Oilers are juggling a few issues with their salary cap, and moving him might have been part of the play to get under the cap before the start of the season.

Virtanen Cut From PTO

Jake Virtanen’s run with the Oilers has come to an end. He simply didn’t show enough in his tryout that he did enough to make the roster, despite being given plenty of opportunity to show well. Virtanen got five games to demonstrate that he could keep up and speculation is that he simply didn’t show a willingness or enough drive to compete.

His lack of desire has been the knock on Virtanen. Had he really shown he wanted to seize this opportunity, the Oilers might have given him a longer look. But, his lack of production and his inability to be a difference-maker in preseason games, often against weaker competition, sealed his fate.

No Trade Market For Puljujarvi

According to Frank Seravalli, there is literally no trade market out there right now for forward Jesse Puljujarvi. Trade talk hasn’t really quieted down since the start of the offseason when it was rumored the Oilers might be willing to move Puljujvari. There are more insiders leaning towards the team keeping the player, but Seravalli seems to hint that part of the reason is that the Oilers will lose any trade they try to make.

Jesse Puljujarvi Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While a guest on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer, Seravalli said that there is no market for the player because teams just can’t afford to take on his $3 million cap hit and GM Ken Holland isn’t going to retain any of Puljujarvi’s salary in a deal. John Shannon was on Oilers Now the next day and said that Puljujarvi needs to show more to get the top-six opportunity or to get himself traded — if that’s ultimately what he wants.

Dylan Hollway a Lock For Opening Night

Between his play in the preseason and his effect on the salary cap should he be called up later in the year, Dylan Holloway is nearly guaranteed a spot on the opening night roster. Some are arguing that fans should pump the breaks a bit because his production has come in the preseason, but my argument is why? Why not ride the wave and enjoy it while Holloway is producing?

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Even if he loses momentum, he can be moved around the lineup. The trick will be finding him the minutes so that he’s not riding the bench and only playing nine minutes per game when he could be in Bakersfield playing 18-20 minutes a night.

Broberg or Niemelainen?

A real question has emerged out of this year’s preseason which is, which defenseman deserves to make this roster more: Philip Broberg or Markus Niemelainen? Broberg is believed to have a higher ceiling and more skill. Niemelainen brings a more physical component to the games and an element the Oilers are lacking.

Part of the issue seems to be the extra muscle Broberg has put on during the offseason. He looks slower and a bit less confident in his decision-making.

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