It’s hard to know exactly how the Jesse Puljujarvi situation will play out with regards to the Edmonton Oilers, after the young forward requested a trade and refused to sign a contract with the team this summer. Puljujarvi instead returned to Finland where he is off to a great start, scoring 11 goals and 20 points in 18 games with Karpat and recently being named to the national team for the Karjala Cup.
Oilers GM Ken Holland will attend the international tournament to see Puljujarvi, which has led to more speculation about a potential trade back on North American soil. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported last night on Headlines that interest in Puljujarvi has increased again, noting that the New York Rangers in particular have continued to shown “persistent interest.”
There is now less than a month left to get Puljujarvi signed to a contract. The restricted free agent must have a deal registered with the NHL by December 1st in order to be eligible to play at all this season. That NHL future is entirely in the hands of Holland, who isn’t forced to move Puljujarvi’s rights at all.
The 21-year old will be waiver eligible, meaning that any team deciding to acquire Puljujarvi will have to keep him on their NHL roster—or risk losing him to someone else. That’s a tough ask even with his overseas success, at least for teams expecting to contend for a playoff spot this season.