Edmonton Oilers draft Jesse Puljujarvi fourth overall

The Edmonton Oilers have selected Jesse Puljujarvi fourth overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Virtually nobody expected Puljujarvi to be available with the No. 4 selection. Most mock drafts had him as the third-best prospect in the draft; there was even some speculation that the Winnipeg Jets might take him second overall. Instead, the Columbus Blue Jackets, went off-script in the No. 3 slot, selecting Pierre-Luc Dubois out of the QMJHL, a very talented player most outlets projected to go around fifth overall. 

Puljujarvi is believed to be NHL-ready, and is basically a dream come true for Edmonton at right wing, a 6’3″, 200-pound right shot who plays a mature two-way game. 

The Hockey News, in part, had this to say in their 2016 Draft Preview:

Unlike Laine, Puljujarvi is more of a playmaker and 200-foot player than a pure scorer. He’s not expected to have the same offensive impact Laine will at the NHL level, but there’s a two-way component to his game that scouts like … Puljujarvi will never shortchange his team in effort. But while he’s hugely competitive he’s far more than just a high-motor guy. “Sometimes people see his competitiveness and activity, they get caught looking at that and forget what a good player he is.”

International Scouting Services had a similar view of the player in their 2016 Draft Guide: 

Played for SM-Liiga powerhouse offense in Karpat and has developed his way into a core member of their offense. Was MVP and dominant at times at U18 and finished the tournament with a hat trick, as Finland beat Sweden 6-1 to win the gold medal. Forces opposition players to respect his shot, which is elite, and can create plays because of this. Big and strong with a long reach and he just shrugs guys off. Always seems to have good body position whether protecting the puck or defending. Has a powerful skating stride and has another gear when needed – responsible in all three zones – soft quick hands and a heavy shot. Reads the play well and plays well away from the puck. Has excellent hockey sense. Character guy with all the attributes to be a top end player in the NHL – Showed superstar potential.

Puljujarvi played just over 15:00 per game in Finland’s top league last season, and that increased to 16:30 per game in the postseason. Finland’s top league tracks advanced stats, and thanks to that we know that Puljujarvi got a bit of a bump in terms of offensive zone starts but also had a 57.5% Corsi rating for Karpat, which led all regular forwards on the team. 

There is a lot to like about this selection. Puljujarvi brings size, speed and skill, and gets high marks for competitiveness and two-way play. He’s a right-shot on a team crying out for them, and it’s entirely possible that he’ll be ready to step into the lineup immediately. 

Concerns are minimal. Puljujarvi has not had a high shooting percentage in either of his two years at the pro level in Finland, so there’s some reason for worry that he won’t be a pure goal-scorer, though he can help in other ways. His readiness to step into the NHL immediately may also further exacerbate Edmonton’s bonus cushion problems; because the team has so many entry-level contracts with bonuses it cannot defer them all, and so increasingly they act like a hard cap.

Based on what we know today, though, this is a fantastic addition for the Oilers.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • R U Kidding Me!

    Today was a great day. With the 4th overall pick we got the BPA.

    One good D pickup and there’s no reason we don’t make the playoffs next season.

  • CanadianCommie

    The only thing I’m a little frustrated about is, like most folks, still no help on D. Still lots of time though, but holy hell we’ve needed help there for years and it’s painfully desperate…

  • lets say nuge for dumba+ and we sign demers… Is that enough to crack the playoffs with a clearly stacked top-6?

    Chia went for the home run on Subban, didn’t work out. There may be another deal in place though… Shattenkirk if he was willing to sign longer would be ideal…
    Too many options. And it will probably be something nobody thinks of.

  • bazmagoo

    I’d be content if we landed that Severson kid out of New Jersey tomorrow. #32 and Yak? We can dream.

    Then maybe sign someone out of free agency, short term for big money. Brian Campbell is an good option.

      • Ol_OneNut

        Stole? Don’t you mean ‘fell into their lap’?

        They have no lives so they troll the ON cause they are nolife loser trolls.

        Thought it was pretty self explanatory.

    • McDavid's Comet

      See how many people in calgary post on flamesnation? Very few compared to the Oilersnation. scorpio and hockeyfan are bored and post on Oilersnation because they get a response to their jibber-jabber. I suppose it’s a need to keep the BOA going even after it ends in April. They call it intellectual debate, we call it trolling.

    • OILFANMEXICO

      Do you blame the Flamer trolls? They hired an assistant coach(from Canucks) to be head coach, they gave away 2nd rounder for a 31 yr old tier 2 goalie who was going to free agency anyways, and their best player is 85 lbs soaking wet! I would be bored over at Flamers Nation too!

  • dougtheslug

    Just when I thought he couldn’t amaze me anymore, I just heard Connor will be learning to speak Finnish over the weekend so he can converse with his new right winger.

    Boys, these are happy times.

  • KACaribou

    Calgary got a bit of a gift, but so too did the Oilers. Who thought Jesse Puljujärvi would go fourth? Not the Oilers. Who thought Tkachuk would go 6th? Not the Flames.

    The good news is we all hate the Canuckleheads right? Enjoy.

    • McDavid's Comet

      Never thought PLD would go third, that was a great surprise courtesy to Columbus. Lots of great prospects fell way beyond scouting consensus. I wonder if Puljujarvi is eligible for AHL? No need to rush him. I think Canuckleheads hate Vancouver right now, no need to riot though.lol