The Edmonton Oilers are welcoming back a familiar face. Jesse Puljujarvi has signed a new two-year contract with the team, bringing him back from Europe after he had previously vowed to never play for the team again. With new management in GM Ken Holland and a new coach with Dave Tippett, the relationship was mended between Edmonton and their former top prospect.
Puljujarvi will earn $900K in 2020-21 and $1.45MM in 2021-22, giving him a cap hit of $1.175MM.
Selected fourth overall in 2016, Puljujarvi’s struggles in Edmonton have been well documented. He failed to make an immediate impact in the NHL, but the Oilers kept playing him on the fourth line or sitting him out, not committing to one development path or another. That first season he played 28 games in the NHL and 39 games in the AHL, a split that would become routine through his first stint with the Oilers.
By the time 2019 rolled around, Puljujarvi was finished with bouncing around in Edmonton and ended up returning to Finland to play for Karpat last season. Dominating in a league he started in before he was even drafted, the 22-year-old scored 24 goals and 53 points in 56 games. He’s back playing for Karpat right now but will now be back in the NHL when camps open this winter.
Because he’s so young, Puljujarvi will still be a restricted free agent at the end of this contract. We’ll see what kind of role he’s given in 2020-21, but after agreeing to such an inexpensive deal it does seem like he’s ready to give the team another chance to steer his career.