Yamamoto, Puljujarvi among four Oilers issued qualifying offers

Edmonton Oilers' Kailer Yamamoto in action during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021, in St. Louis. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

The Edmonton Oilers have issued qualifying offers to four forwards, including Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi. Ryan McLeod and Tyler Benson were also qualified.

Qualifying offers allow the Oilers to retain the rights of these players as restricted free agents as they continue to negotiate new contracts this summer.

Yamamoto, 23, is coming off a career year in which he scored 20 goals and 41 points. He is coming off a one-year, $1.175-million contract that was signed just weeks before the start of last season.

Puljujarvi's qualifying offer allows the Oilers to retain his rights, although the power forward is expected to be traded this summer. Late last month, Sportsnet's Mark Spector reported that Puljujarvi was ready for a fresh start and the Oilers planned to oblige him. However, with the NHL Draft now past, it's unclear when a trade will happen.

Puljujarvi is coming off a two-year, $2.35-million contract. He had 14 goals and 36 points last season.

McLeod is coming off his first full year in the NHL and had nine goals and 21 points in 71 games for the Oilers last season. Benson had three points in a career-high 29 NL games last year.

The Oilers did not qualify forwards Brendan Perlini and Ostap Safin, and defenceman Filip Berglund. All three are now unrestricted free agents.

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