Contract comparisons for Edmonton Oilers forwards Jesse Polgojarvi and Kyler Yamamoto

Jesse Poliojarvi and Kyler Yamamoto will get big raises when they sign their new deals. Both right wingers had a cap of $1.175 million (AAV) last season, but Poligarvi’s actual salary was $1.45 million while Yamamoto made $1.175 million.

What Kind of Average Annual Value (AAV) Will They Have This Summer?

To maintain their rights, the Oilers must submit both wings with a qualifying bid by Monday, July 11 at 3 p.m. GMT. Both will be eligible. Yamamoto and Puljujarvi are eligible to file for arbitration and have until July 18 at 3 PM MT to file for arbitration. Unless prior agreement is reached, I fully expect that both will submit to arbitration.

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In judging, goals, assists, points, points per game (PPG) and Time On Ice are the most used stats. Any analytics used must come from the NHL, and these statistics aren’t nearly as detailed or in-depth as those collected by individual NHL teams, so analytics don’t play a huge role in judging sessions. I was told by several NHL management who were involved in refereeing and the previous season carried the most weight, followed by the previous two seasons. If a player jumps from 25 points to 50, that will be considered, but often if the player jumps from 50 to 25, the second season hurts them more than I’m told.

Submitting a request for arbitration puts both sides informed and often leads to an agreement before going through the actual arbitration session. If the player submits a request to arbitrate, the team will have the option of choosing a one- or two-year deal for the arbitrator. They cannot opt ​​for a two-year deal if the player is only one year after being an unrestricted free agent.

Below is the list of strikers who have applied to refereeing in the past two seasons. Tyler Bertozzi was the only player to go through a judging session. The others agreed to a deal with their club ahead of the hearing.

Sam Reinhart produced 22-28-50 in 69 games with 0.72 PPG. He – he signed a one-year deal for $5.2 million with Buffalo.
Ryan Strom hit 18-41-59 in 70 games with 0.84 PPG. He signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the New York Rangers.
Conor Brown scored 16-27-43 in 71 games (0.60 PPG). He signed a three-year, $3.6 million deal with Ottawa.
Tyler Bertozzi produced 21-28-48 in 71 games (0.67). He landed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with Detroit.
Chris Tierney scored 11-26-37 in 71 games (0.52). He signed a two-year, $3.5 million deal with Ottawa.
Victor Olofsson produced 20-22-42 in 54 games (0.77) and signed a two-year, $3.05 million deal with Buffalo.
Andrew Mangyapan scored 17-15-32 in 68 games (0.47) and signed a two-year, $2.45 million deal with Calgary.
Warren Vogel scored 13-17-30 in 68 games (0.44) and earned a $2.15 million one-year deal with Carolina.
Ilya Mikheev scored 8-15-23 in 39 games (0.58) and signed a two-year, $1.65 million contract with Toronto.
Brendan Lemieux produced 6-12-18 in 59 games (0.31) and signed a two-year, $1.55 million deal with the New York Rangers.
Nick Paul scored 9-11-20 in 56 games (0.36) and signed a two-year deal worth $1.35 million with Ottawa.

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Olofson and Mikheev only played one season in the NHL, and despite having a higher PPG than others, they ended up with a lower AAV. The Toronto and Buffalo managements have been able to capitalize on the lack of matches played and experience in their favour.


Jacob Vrana scored 19-17-36 in 50 games (0.72) and signed a three-year, $5.25 million contract in Detroit.
Kevin Viala scored 20-20-40 in 50 games (0.80) and signed a one-year $5.1 million contract with Minnesota.
Andrew Cobb hit 15-24-39 in 55 games (0.71) and signed a one-year, $3.6 million deal with Winnipeg.
Jason Dickinson scored 7-8-15 in 51 games (0.29) and signed a three-year, $2.65 million contract in Vancouver.
Adam Ernie made 11-9-20 in 45 games (0.44) and earned a two-year deal worth $2.1 million in Detroit.
Zach Sanford scored 10-6-16 in 52 games (0.31) and earned a one-year, $2 million deal with St. Louis.
Zach Aston Reese scored 9-6-15 in 45 games (0.33) and signed a one-year AAV deal with Pittsburgh worth $1.725 million.
Ross Colton hit 9-3-12 in 30 games (0.40) and secured a two-year, $1.125 million AAV contract with Tampa.

Dickinson’s deal looks high when you compare his production to the other players who have given. Perhaps it would have been better for Minnesota to resort to arbitration with Villala, just so they can pick a two-year deal. Hitting his hat would probably be similar to what he signed on anyway, but at least they’ll have a contract for this season. He produced 85 points last year and is a member of the RFA team again and will get a big raise.


Yamamoto produced 20-21-41 in 81 games (0.51 PPG) while Puljujarvi scored 14-22-36 in 65 games (0.55 PPG). I was told by the NHL management type that goals carry a little more weight. They’ve been pretty close this season and even the last two years. Puljujarvi has 29-32-61 in 120 games (0.51 PPG) and Yamamoto scored 28-34-62 in 133 games (0.47 PPG).

This season Yamamoto averaged 16:52 TOI/match while Puljujarvi was 16:14.

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What is interesting is the comparison of their production and use under the supervision of Jay Woodcroft and Dave Tippett.

Under Tippett:
Puljujarvi: 10-15-25 in 42 games (0.59 PPG) with an average of 16:58/game.
Yamamoto: 8-8-16 in 44 games (0.36 PPG) with an average of 16:23/game.

With Woodcroft:
Puljujarvi: 4-7-11 in 23 games (0.48 PPG) with an average of 14:54/game.
Yamamoto: 12-13-25 in 37 games (0.68 PPG) with an average of 17:27/game.

Polijarvi had a better start to the season, while Yamamoto was better in the second half. Puljujarvi was also injured and had COVID in the second half and never looked comfortable when he came back.

Oil wearers should beware of modernity bias. Puljujarvi had a strong start and a weaker finish, while Yamamoto struggled early, but finished the match very well. Puljujarvi turns 24 in May, while Yamamoto turns 24 in September. They are the same age, but have very different styles and different strengths and weaknesses.

Puljujarvi is big and he still doesn’t know how strong he is. He’s a powerful forward checker and uses his reach to knock down pucks and keep play alive. He has many good looks, but he has not yet shown his ability to finish consistently. Yamamoto is a very stubborn and rational player, probably because it should have been due to his lack of size. Woodcroft and Tippitt have mentioned before him how his teammates, specifically Conor McDavid and Leon Driestel, love playing with him. This is because it is predictable. He reads snow well and knows how to use his comrades.

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Puljujarvi has more upside, in my opinion, but he needs to improve his puck skills and his work/balance. Both are things he can work on, and they should be a focal point of his off-season training. Yamamoto is more versatile in the eyes of his coaches. It was used in penalty kicks, he had 166 offensive zones and 148 defensive zones starting at 5×5, while Puljujarvi had 183 offensive zones and 105 defensive zones started.

I don’t agree with the idea that Puljujarvi is a great defensive player because of his GA or XGF% on the ice. He had the highest Sv% on ice over the Oilers at 0.941. As Mike Kelly explained earlier this week at our site Discussion about GF% and xGF%, A goalkeeper’s Sv% can dramatically change these two stats for an attacker. Puljujarvi was not yet used in PK, and had a more offensive area for a defensive start, so based on usage, neither Tippett nor Woodcroft viewed him as a dominant defensive player. At least not to the point.

When you look at the recent signings of players who have applied to referee, it’s realistic to expect Puljujarvi and Yamamoto to earn between $2.6 million and $3.2 million in salary. Andrew Mangiapane earned $2.45 million, played 1.5 seasons and averaged 0.47 points/game. It is similar in size to the Yamamoto. Chris Tierney averaged 0.52 points/game of the season when he applied to refereeing, but he also scored 48 points the previous year. Ottawa signed him for $3.5 million, but they were also a team with big stretches and in rebuilding. Teams with more space often pay, and in rebuilding, a little more than rival teams, which is why Oilers can play the ball a little more.

Yamamoto and Puljujarvi are not base pieces. Both are strong complementing strikers, and if they want to secure a similar contract to Tierney’s, they could exit Edmonton. The challenge for Oilers is to sign Warren Foegele for $2.75 million when he was 25 and he wouldn’t have produced like Yamamoto and Puljujarvi. I’m sure Yamamoto and Puljujarvi camp will look at this deal and say we deserve more. This is all part of the negotiation process.

If the Oilers can sign them for a total of $6 million, Edmonton should get good value for their investment. The challenge is to do this, some other pieces have to be moved.

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