The Edmonton Oilers are off to the best start in decades, going 8-3-1 in the first three weeks of the 2019-20 season. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have picked up right where they left off last season with an incredible 21 points apiece in just 12 games. Even newcomer James Neal has 10 goals in his first 12 games. But… you know who’s missing from the team’s top-six forward group. Jesse Puljujarvi… remember him?
The former 4th overall pick demanded a trade from Oilers GM Ken Holland this past offseason and is plying his trade in the Finnish SM-liiga with Karpat until a trade materializes. Interestingly enough, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported earlier this month that Puljujarvi is happy to spend the rest of the season with Karpat.
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“I’m hearing he’s comfortable staying all year in Finland. Obviously the Oilers might have a decision to make for what’s best for them, as they get closer to the Dec. 1 deadline where he has to be traded and signed if he’s gonna play in the NHL this year.”
“I get the feeling that’s a comfortable situation for the player. He’s trying to get his confidence back, trying to get his game back and he might be the best player right now in the Finnish Elite League.”
Well… don’t get too comfortable Jesse because Ottawa Senators insider Bruce Garrioch is now reporting that the Sens have expressed “solid interest” in acquiring Puljujarvi. The asking price is reportedly just a 2nd round pick.
Check it out:
Interesting. There’s no denying the fact that Puljujarvi would be given a chance with the offensively-challenged Sens, but there’s also a sense that the player is NOT interested in playing for ANY Canadian franchise. Would he make an exception for the Sens? Again, it's clear that Puljujarvi would be given a real chance to play a top six role with the team, but will that be enough to lure him away from Finland?
Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported earlier this month that Puljujarvi’s preference is to resume his NHL career outside of Canada; someplace a little quieter. The Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning are among the most likely possibilities.
Stay tuned, Oilers fans.