NorthStar Bets’ Chris Johnston has an unfortunate injury update on 2016 fourth-overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi: he “recently underwent double hip surgery and is facing a lengthy recovery.” Johnston adds that Puljujarvi won’t be issued a qualifying offer by the Carolina Hurricanes and will hit unrestricted free agency in a few days.
This is the second significant medical setback hitting a young winger of the day, as it was recently announced that Buffalo Sabres winger Jack Quinn will miss quite some time with an Achilles injury. But while Quinn is firmly in an NHL team’s future plans, Puljujarvi is going to be looking for a new opportunity on the open market. The 25-year-old was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes last season but struggled to make an impact for head coach Rod Brind’Amour’s team. He scored just two points in 17 games and one point in seven playoff games.
Puljujarvi had his moments as an Edmonton Oiler, such as in 2021-22 when he scored 36 points in 65 games but struggled immensely early in the season with them and played his way out of a future with that organization. Since he was making $3MM against the cap his qualifying offer’s cost made it incredibly unlikely, and now we know he will indeed go unqualified.
The level of interest he garners on the open market is going to be a bit of a mystery due to this injury, which does not have a disclosed recovery timeline. Given the severity of the injury, though, it could be quite some time before we see Puljujarvi back on NHL ice.