Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland said Monday it is a priority to have Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the team for a long time.
Holland added he isn't sure if a deal will get done now or later on, pointing to a lot of uncertainties, but said Nugent-Hopkins is an important player.
Nugent-Hopkins has just one year remaining on his seven-year, $42 million deal he signed ahead of the 2014-15 season.
The 27-year-old had 22 goals and 39 assists in 65 games for the Oilers last season.
Holland also said he and head coach Dave Tippett have been in conversations with Jesse Puljujarvi, who hasn't played for the team since the 2018-19 season.
Holland said they have been walking him through where the Oilers see him fitting in. Holland added it's relationship building, but the team isn't in a position to guarantee him anything. Holland said he expected talks to continue Tuesday.
In 56 games for Karpat last season, the 22-year-old had 24 goals and 29 assists.
The Oilers are also waiting on defenceman Oscar Klefbom to make a decision on his injured shoulder. Holland said Klefbom has been playing with pain every year and it's up to him to figure out what he wants to do moving forward. The Oilers are operating as though they likely won't have him for most or all of next season, admitting it's a bit tough to plan with the uncertainty.
Holland also said he's made decisions on Andreas Athanasiou and Matt Benning on qualifying offers but wouldn't say.
The GM also said their priority this off-season remains a goaltender, likely through free agency rather than a trade, and a third line centre. Holland said he may also look to add a third-string goalie to the organization.
Ahead of the draft, Holland said he expects to select at No. 14 and are unlikely to take a defenceman unless someone high on their list slides down.