Comparing Jesse Puljujarvi and Tyler Seguin’s rookie years

The Edmonton Oilers fourth overall pick in 2016 has had a stagnant rookie season. Jesse Puljujarvi has dressed for 27 of Edmonton’s 39 games, often playing under 10 minutes a game. Puljujarvi has only eight points during this time, which raises the question whether the winger belongs in the NHL. The Oilers’ handling of Puljujarvi’s rookie season mirrors one of a similar high Peter Chiarelli-draft pick, Tyler Seguin.

Seguin was another Chiarelli player who played in the NHL right after he was drafted. The 2nd overall pick from the 2010 draft was used sparingly in his rookie season in the NHL rather than going back to Plymouth in the Ontario Hockey League. Seguin played in 74 of Boston’s games and found himself the occasional healthy scratch, but Seguin later provided the Bruins with 7 points in 13 playoff games, including key performances against Tampa Bay, as they went on to win the Stanley Cup. 
Puljujarvi remains in Edmonton to date and looks on track to procure his first accrued season, which would burn a year of restricted free agency as the 9-game mark has already passed, as he appears to be on the fourth line in practice the day before the club’s 40th game.

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Looking back at Puljujarvi and Seguin’s first 27 games shows a fairly similar usage between the two players with one key difference: an extra minute and a half on the power play for Seguin. Despite Seguin’s limited time at even strength, Bruins head coach Claude Julien still made him a regular on the team’s power play, while Puljujarvi saw most of his time at 5-on-5. Neither rookie played much shorthanded so it’s interesting to see Julien found a role for Seguin on the Bruins’ power play while McLellan has been reluctant to utilize Puljujarvi with the man advantage.

Despite this difference, Puljujarvi is on pace to match Seguin’s rookie total of 22 points if he plays the majority of the season going forward. Seguin’s development would be encouraging to the Oilers’ organization as he blossomed the following season scoring 29 goals and 67 points and has been among the league’s top scorers since. 

Seguin has developed fine even though he was rarely used his rookie season, although, the options were different for Seguin than for Puljujarvi. Because Seguin was drafted out of the Canadian Hockey League he was restricted by the CHL-NHL agreement. The rule states that a CHL player cannot play in either the AHL or ECHL unless they are 20-years-old by December 31st of that year or have played four years of major junior hockey. Seguin either had to go back to Plymouth, where he scored 273 points in 124 games, or stay with the Bruins in the NHL. 

Since Puljujarvi was drafted out of a European league he is eligible to head straight to the AHL as an 18 year old, similar to other high drafted Europeans William Nylander and Mikko Rantanen, or even another Chairelli pick, David Pastrnak. Although Pastrnak played in a lower tier European league in his draft year he was still assigned to Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence the following season. Pastrnak found early success with Providence and continued his scoring when Boston recalled him. When prompted by reporters in a media availability on December 13th, Chiarelli talked about the comparisons between Pastrnak and Puljujarvi. Chairelli noted that “the language is a big issue,” for Puljujarvi while, “David knew the language really well.” and wouldn’t have been as affected by the culture shock as Puljujarvi would be.

The development of Puljujarvi, while strange, isn’t that uncommon for a team with Peter Chairelli at the helm. Tyler Seguin produced significantly after his restrained rookie year, although the AHL wasn’t an option for him. Playing limited minutes at the NHL level immediately didn’t harm Seguin long-term. While Puljujarvi is eligible to play in the AHL, it seems like Chiarelli and the Oilers feel having Puljujarvi learning the language and playing a bit in the NHL is more beneficial than plying his trade with big minutes for the Oilers’ AHL affiliate in Bakersfield. 

Stats from hockey-reference.com and corsica.hockey.
    • 24% body fat

      arent you guys declairing Tkachuk the next Gaudreau. Sorry dont see it. Perfect candidate for regression next year.

      If you are declaring JP a bust allready I guess we should say the same thing about bennett, who has had way more games to prove himself. Draisailt is kicking the crap out of him.

      • Arminius

        Who’s declaring Tkachuk the next Johnny Hockey? Completely different players. Both equally as prickish to play against for the next 15 years. Enjoy oiler fans and remember you could have had Chucky instead of Poo Party

        • 24% body fat

          So if Tkachuk is better than JP based on a small sample are you willing to admit how much better Drai is than Bennet.

          If not you are very premature on Tkachuk.

        • oilerjed

          Who is calling anybody the next “Johnny Hockey”??? What would be the point of that. As much hype as Goudreau is getting what has he accomplished in the NHL so far? Bubkiss……. Talk to me when he has done something memorable

          • oilerjed

            So Connor McDavid is battling it out with the likes of Crosby and Malkin for the Hart, in only his second year and that is nothing? I was looking at the leader board for Johnny Hockey and and had to scroll to the second page to find him in 60th in the NHL.
            And yes, in case your math is as bad as I think it might be, that is 13 spots behind Sam Gagner as well. I hope Upchuck is the next JH too.

            Edited: spelling

          • HockeyRulz

            That’s it let it all out, we’re here for you big guy.
            Coming to that realizing of you being affected by the Connor affect is not easy. And yes a lottery brought us McDavid. It was like the hockey gods shinning down on us and saying… here is the seconding coming…Like it was ment to be. But once you have come to realization and surrendered yourself to it, you will find peace and happiness in your life.

            So please continue to let it all out, let all your anger/appreciation of McDavid out, because we here at this nation just love it. Good luck on your transformation.

      • 24% body fat

        Bennet is on pace for 32 points in draft +3, and they are saying patience and it will come. He is pretty much on par with Yakupovs stats and curve.

        Yak/ Bennett/ gagner

        Draft .646ppg 48g / 1.00ppg 1g/ 0.620 79g

        Draft +1 .381ppg 63g / .468ppg 77g / .540 76g

        Draft +2 .407ppg 81g / .450ppg 40g / .603 68g

        Draft +3 .383ppg 60g none / .612 68g

        career .429 / .466 / .584

        HMMMMMM

        But in 35 games, Tkachuk is an elite player and they are happy they didnt get JP even though all on flamesnation where preaching to jump up to get him.

        and both former oilers are 4th liners on other teams, and this is Calgary future first line center. Long way for him to go.

  • Dirty Oil

    I find it funny how we talk about possible cap issues once Conner’s ELD ends and we are still willing to burn a year of Puljujarvi? Some short sighted decisions WILL come back to haunt us a few years from now.

    • madjam

      The financial savings by burning that first can be substantial , not just in terms of bonus numbers over ELC , but also in next contract amount garnered . That is not being short sighted , that is being smart and frugal . !

    • toprightcorner

      Actually, with JPs big cap hit of $3.9, good chance that they get him on a bridge less than that or a longer contract at a lower rate than it could have been.

      Same thing will happen with Draisaitl. With a year burned, the Oilers get to extend him at the end of this year. If they sent him back to the WHL earlier, this would be his second year and if he puts up 65 points and next year puts up 70 pts, he would come at a much larger cap hit after next year becasue he had 3 good years. Oilers will likely save at least $1-$2 mill a year by burning a year of Draisaitls contract if they sign him to a long year deal.

  • @Hallsy4

    Chucky, and Benny. C’mon Arminius Swine, at least wait until the afternoon to throw those nicknames around, I haven’t even had the chance to have my morning coffee… gat dang brother. The Oilers have McDavid, and the Flames once again find themselves playing second fiddle to their superior cousins up North. Not a one season thing either, with McDavid that’s gotta last for at LEAST the next 10 years. Kinda like history repeating itself #GreatOne. Savour it brother. Savour it.

      • @Hallsy4

        Haha, you’d be a lot easier to take if you were’t 30 plus living in moms basement. I don’t want any credit, it was a lotto, the Oilers got very lucky to get McDavid. I’d be pissed too if I was a Flames fan and watched the Oilers get one of the best players in the world, who’s only 19. That doesn’t change the fact that McDavid is on the Oilers. Continue Savouring it. I am, and will be for a long time. SAVOUR IT.

  • Zamboni Driver

    I honestly wonder how this article gets written.

    Does whoever the hell “Christian Pagnani” is come up with it on his own or is there a committee that goes, “What absolute crap can we throw against the wall to get a social media war going?

    WAIT I GOT IT…let’s compare an 18 year old boy who has one goal to one of the best players in the league!”

    Genius!

    Keep up the mediocre work, boys.

    • oilerjed

      Don’t be obtuse. The writer, who you don’t have to read, is simply comparing the use of JP to TS because they were both very high Chirelli picks and discussing their usage in their first years. Seems pretty straight forward to me. There has been lots of discussion about JPs ice time this year and this article is a continuation of that.

  • TruthHurts98

    They are grossly mismanaging JP. He should have been in the minors for the season before the 9 game mark. Colorado did it with Rantenen and it’s helped his development big time. Same old franchise… never seems to learn. Sigh

  • ginganinja

    I miss DSF. He was negative toward the Oilers but he backed his points up with intelligence and stats/facts.
    This Arminius clown is your classic troll with no knowledge, hiding behind a keyboard, living a cyber life in which people hate him almost as much as the people in his real “life” do. Please do us a favour Arminius and find a girl/boy that will use up this seemingly endless spare time you have. Please don’t use each response you get on here as your fulfilment for the day, it’s not healthy mate.

  • Ron Burgundy

    I wonder if the culture shock angle is what is driving this. With Lander up with the big club there are no Swedes on the farm, vs Lander, Larsson, Klefbom and The Monster with the big club.

    The kid not only has the normal Euro rookie learning curve but also a language barrier so maybe they are trying to make it easier on him by only throwing one system at him, in a setting where he has several translators. It’s not always just about hockey.

    However, if that isn’t the reason then I second all of those who say that keeping him up is stupid.

    • DonEnrico

      JP can’t speak swedish (he’s actually bron here in Sweden though), and none of the swedes can speak finnish, so the languagebarrier is still there. A bit more familarity though. And Iiro is in Edmonton, right?

  • Burns14

    If he’s not playing in all the 40 games, does that still burn a year of his contract? He’s only played 30ish games. If it does still count, someone should inform the oil brass