Jesse Puljujarvi’s immediate NHL future is going to be sealed one way or the other by the end of the weekend. If he isn’t signed by 4:00 PM CST tomorrow, he won’t be eligible to play in the NHL for the rest of the year. It doesn’t sound as if much progress has been made when it comes to finding a trade suitor as Sportsnet’s Mark Spector reports (Twitter link) that as things stand, it appears that Puljujarvi won’t be on the move.
The 21-year-old has rediscovered his scoring touch back home with Karpat Oulu of the Finnish SM-liiga where he has recorded 11 goals and 13 assists in 24 games while averaging 18:30 per night. His 24 points put him in a tie for fifth overall in league scoring and a tie for first on the team with former Philadelphia center Mika Pyorala. If a trade suitor isn’t found by tomorrow, the Oilers will retain his rights as a restricted free agent and he will not accrue a year of service time towards UFA eligibility meaning he’ll still be under team control for four more years.
More from Edmonton:
- Defenseman Matt Benning has been activated off injured reserve, notes Postmedia’s Jim Matheson. He has been out of the lineup since suffering a concussion back on November 19th against San Jose. Edmonton had an extra roster spot so they didn’t have to send anyone to AHL Bakersfield to bring Benning off IR.
- GM Ken Holland told Matheson that he’s open to trading a first-round pick but only if the team is in a spot where they’re a sure bet to make the playoffs. With Philadelphia and Chicago recently making big jumps from the bottom of the draft lottery, potential bubble teams are going to be even more hesitant to part with those selections. Edmonton enters play today atop the Pacific Division and if they can hold onto that spot for a few more months, that pick may wind up being in play.
- While it looked like Alex Chiasson would miss some time following a hard hit from Colorado defenseman Ryan Graves back on Wednesday, team play-by-play announcer Jack Michaels reports (Twitter link) that the winger will be in his spot on the second line tonight against Vancouver. After scoring 22 goals last season, Chiasson has struggled offensively with just two goals in 23 contests in 2019-20.