The saga surrounding Finnish forward Jesse Puljujarvi has been... interesting to say the least and it sounds like it may continue for at least a little while. In a recent report for the Edmonton Journal, Oilers reporter Kurt Leavins hinted at the fact that he now expects Puljujarvi will once again sign a 1 year deal to play in the Finnish Elite League, the same league he played in last season while holding out for a trade from the Oilers organization.
Recently Puljujarvi made some comments that led many to believe that he was open to a return to the Oilers organization and this latest contract could provide more evidence of that. Leavins expects that the deal will include an out clause for any NHL offers he may receive, either from the Oilers or the team they eventually trade his rights to, which would of course indicate that Puljujarvi does not view playing in Finland as a long term option for his professional career.
Do not be surprised if sometime over the next few weeks Jesse Puljujarvi signs a 1-year extension with Karpat of the Finnish Professional League. Expect that such a deal would come with an NHL-out embedded. Puljujarvi’s recent “never say never” comment was taken by some to be a sign that he was open to returning to Edmonton.
Leavins also wondered if the recent comments from Puljujarvi may have merely been a ploy to increase his trade value, it would unquestionably give the Oilers more leverage in negotiations if opposing teams believed that the Oilers weren't being forced to make a deal here. That could very well be the case, but it could also be that Puljujarvi is now staring at a very long layoff from the NHL and realizes every day that goes by likely damages his long term peak potential in the NHL. The Oilers will play in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs but Puljujarvi won't be a part of that run, and then it might be several long months before the Oilers even kick off training camp for the upcoming 2020 - 2021 regular season.
Either way it sounds like his next contract will once again be in Europe.