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SportsWhat does the future hold for Jesse Puljujarvi and the Edmonton Oilers?

21:07  11 june  2019
21:07  11 june  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

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EDMONTON — Jesse Puljujarvi skated with two coaches on Monday in Edmonton , the Oilers trainer watching like a hawk from the seats above. His drills weren’t about skating the length of the ice and blasting a shot, but instead a series of circles, and tighter turns, as he rehabs from surgery to correct a

The Edmonton Oilers made some roster decisions today, as they qualified Jujhar Khaira and Jesse Puljujarvi . This move safe guards aginst free agency and makes both players available as offer On Jesse 's side, this is all to keep rights. What did you think of the decision? Pretty straight forward?

What does the future hold for Jesse Puljujarvi and the Edmonton Oilers?© David Becker/AP puljujarvi-oilers

EDMONTON — Jesse Puljujarvi skated with two coaches on Monday in Edmonton, the Oilers trainer watching like a hawk from the seats above.

His drills weren’t about skating the length of the ice and blasting a shot, but instead a series of circles, and tighter turns, as he rehabs from surgery to correct a problem on both hips. He used pucks not in the traditional sense, but as pylons to be skated around.

Swirling, turning, looping. Returning to the place he started, and doing it over again.

This is the metaphor for the career of a No. 4 overall pick who is in limbo, circling somewhere between the ‘B’ word (bust), a young player who may be ready for that boost a second organization can give him. Or is he simply a 21-year-old who just needs some consistency in his handling to find a niche that he can use to find some traction in the National Hockey League?

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We spoke with people around the hockey world — including Oilers new GM Ken Holland and Puljujarvi’s agent Markus Lehto — to get a read on what lies ahead for the six-foot-four Finn, who landed in the Oilers’ lap at No. 4 when Columbus selected Pierre-Luc Dubois third overall in 2016.

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Today Edmonton Oilers fans woke up to what could be potentially the scariest report of the off-season so far. Word on Twitter Jesse Puljujärvi had signed a K But now the question is, where does a false report leave the Edmonton Oilers negotiations with Jesse Puljujärvi ?

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Vancouver drafted Olli Juolevi next. He hasn’t played an NHL game yet. Both the Canucks and Oilers wished they’d taken Matthew Tkachuk, chosen sixth by Calgary, a far better prospect than either Finn. Charlie McAvoy went at No. 14 to the Boston Bruins. Ouch!

First, it must be said that Puljujarvi was absolutely failed by the previous Oilers administration, led by fired GM Peter Chiarelli. They were too late on getting him help with his English; they likely brought him over from Europe a year too soon; they should have given him more time in AHL Bakersfield; they left him far too often to his own devices, a teenager far from home in a foreign land with a foreign tongue.

But the player bears some responsibility as well. It hasn’t come easily for him in the NHL and he hasn’t worked hard enough at his game. By all accounts, he has been waiting for good things to happen, rather than working on his craft so it can reach a place where it will meet success.

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Finnish journalists and hockey people who have spoken to Puljujarvi in his native have told me that he lacks drive. That he doesn’t seem ready to put in the concerted effort he’ll need to become an NHL regular.

Holland has yet even to speak with the young man, though he has talked twice with his agent.

“The toughest thing to gauge about a young player is how they will handle adversity,” Holland said. “They’re all the best players on their team in Bantams, Midgets, at the World Junior (where Puljujarvi was named tournament MVP). Most haven’t had any adversity when we draft them. They’ve never had to handle it.”

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Puljujarvi is in that exact spot today.

Lehto, his agent, told us back in February, “when the player isn’t trusting anymore… ‘Do these guys really want me here? Do they really trust me to become a Top 6 guy? A Top 9 guy? An offensive player?’ The player is uncertain.

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“Are we reaching the point that for the team and for the player, it might be actually be beneficial for going different paths, different routes?”

Today, with his player needing to sign his second NHL contract this summer, Lehto is still wishy-washy on Edmonton. A new GM and coach can’t hurt, he says, but maybe it is still too late for Jesse Puljujarvi and the Oilers.

Holland, on the other hand, will take his “stability” mantra that he has said over and over again when asked what the Oilers need from him, and apply it to the player. The minors are out of the question, in our opinion, for a player who has received interest from the KHL.

If the player asks for a trade, Holland might oblige. Puljujarvi’s market value could inhibit that however, as no GM would flip a No. 4 overall for a fourth round pick. Maybe he becomes an add-in that solidifies a bigger deal, but there are no favours to be doled out here, only an opportunity under new coach Dave Tippett to slowly morph into a depth player, the way Bennett has in Calgary. Then see where that role takes Puljujarvi.

Assuming he is still Oilers property, there will be no Top 6 job awaiting Puljujarvi in Edmonton in the fall. More likely is a steady role on third-line right wing — a place to learn how to be an NHL player, without the pressure to produce points or support an elite centreman.

Holland needs to acquire a veteran centreman who can spend a season with Puljujarvi, both dragging him into the difficult areas of the game, and providing him with some consistent offensive opportunity. No more spending two games with Connor McDavid, three games with Kyle Brodziak, and then a couple as a healthy scratch. What Puljujarvi needs is 82 games as a third-line winger and a chance to learn how to play the NHL game.

If an injury means a call-up, then fine. If he masters the third line and moves up?

Fine.

But the best thing would be for Puljujarvi to play 82 games with the right centreman, and learn how to play and practice like a pro. Be a positive player every night. A player the coach can trust.

From there…

Well, let’s get there first. Then we’ll talk.

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Jesse Puljujarvi likely on way out of Edmonton but it won't be Oilers fans running him out of town.
Would you welcome back Jesse Puljujarvi to Oilers or prefer to see him traded? — David Staples (@dstaples) June 23, 2019 It looks like Jesse Puljujarvi is heading out of Edmonton sooner rather than later, according to the reporting of the Cult’s Kurt Leavins. But never let it be said Edmonton Oilers fan ran him out of town. Even after Puljujarvi’s agent made it clear on Thursday before the NHL draft that the player would refuse to report to the Oilers this coming season, fans have made it clear they would welcome  him back. In a Twitter poll on Sunday, 71 per cent of respondents said they would welcome back Puljujarvi, while 29 per cent preferred to see him traded.

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