He’s coming back. Jesse Puljujarvi is leaving Finland for Edmonton today after spending the last year and a half playing for Karpat. After a regime change in the Oilers from office and behind the bench, Puljujarvi, who once said he was finished playing for the franchise, signed a two-year, $2.35MM contract in October to return to the NHL.
During his time back in Finland, Puljujarvi showed exactly why he was so highly regarded going into the 2016 draft. He scored 24 goals and 53 points in 56 games during 2019-20, good for fourth in league scoring. This year, though the Liiga season has been disrupted and difficult, he had seven goals and 12 points in 16 games while actually wearing an “A” for Karpat.
There’s no guarantee that Puljujarvi is improved or will ever find his game in Edmonton, but he’ll certainly be given the opportunity to earn a big role on the team this season. Though the Oilers have brought in some interesting new forward options like Kyle Turris and Dominik Kahun, they still may lack enough secondary scoring to really take some pressure off of the big two. Puljujarvi was supposed to be just that and now that he’s back, he needs to prove he can be.