Jesse Puljujarvi’s roller coaster ride with the Edmonton Oilers may soon be coming to an end.
Puljujarvi demanded a trade from the Oilers and threatened to sign in Europe if he wasn’t moved promptly. The 21-year-old signed with Finland’s Karpat in August on a one-year contract which includes an out clause, that will allow him to return to the NHL, until Dec. 1.
With his deadline to return inching closer, the Oilers are reportedly fielding interest in Puljujarvi from other interested teams.
“Right now, (Oilers general manager) Ken Holland has a lot of different options,” Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston said during Hockey Night in Canada. “He’s talked extensively with teams going back to this summer, I believe the New York Rangers are a team that continues to show persistent interest in Jesse Puljujarvi.”
Selected fourth overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, Puljujarvi graduated to the NHL immediately, posting a goal and seven assists in 28 games with the Oilers. He also spent extensive time in the AHL throughout the 2016-17 campaign and through the next two seasons, the Oilers did little to allow the former top prospect to flourish, stunting his development by not allowing him to regularly play top-six minutes.
Puljujarvi underwent double hip surgery in March but told reporters that he was healthy prior to the 2019-20 season. He’s posted 11 goals and 20 points in 18 games with Karpat this year.
Edmonton is off to a surprisingly good start, sitting atop the Pacific Division with a 10-4-1 record, so perhaps now is the time to extract some value from a player the club has deemed expendable, if not with its words, but by its actions.
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