Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Jesse Puljujarvi, ODR enthusiast and hero to kids everywhere

With it being the bye week and Oilers news coming in at a snail’s pace, I wanted to take a quick minute to give a shout out to Jesse Puljujarvi for being a hero to a group of local kids.

With the Oilers all taking off on vacays and galavanting in tropical locations, Jesse Puljujarvi made his way back to Edmonton where he dropped in at an ODR and surprised some local kids. Over at 102.3 NOW radio, one boy’s mother, Colleen, sent a message to Juliette and Raj to ask them to spread the word about Puljujarvi’s good deed.

For me, this is the kind of story that can turn a guy into a legend in this city. Just imagine how excited these kids were to have an NHL player come out and take a spin around the ODR with them. That’s not your average spin around the rink, my friends. This is something that those kids will remember forever, and something that will keep them as Puljujarvi fans for a long time. Whether he meant to or not, this was a power move that made an impact with some young hockey fans and I respect that. I just wish more guys would do this kind of stuff.

I remember the Carnival of Champions days when the Oilers and Eskimos would put on a yearly event to specifically interact with their fans, and I think that’s something that’s missing nowadays. Call me old all you want but wouldn’t it be nice if you could see what kind of personality is attached to the player you love? I think so. All we get now are the canned response interviews about giving 100% and getting pucks deep, forgettable quotes to say the least, but I’ll never forget the time that Mariusz Czerkawski gave me free popcorn in my Carnival of Champions pressbox tour.

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Seeing Jesse Puljujarvi have fun by playing some puck with a few local kids is something that probably took an hour of his time but will be a story those kids talk about forever. I’m picturing him ripping around the ice with his tongue licking his hairline and a smile on his face that ran from ear to ear. I’d bet that the kids sharing the ice with him had just as big of a smile which is the beauty of stories like this. Sometimes I think players forget how much they mean to the people that follow them, and that’s why I wanted to give Jesse some props for making a difference. For Puljujarvi, hitting the ice at an ODR is more like work than anything, but it certainly meant much more to the kids involved.

Considering most guys tend to bounce during their time off, I think it’s pretty cool that Jesse Puljujarvi chose to spend a little bit of his free time making memories for a few local kids. From where I blog, I see leadership being shown by a raw player that doesn’t speak much English which adds another fantastic layer to this story. I just think more people need to know about it.

Jesse Puljujarvi, we speak your name.

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Andrew, dad to one of these lucky young men, sent us this picture of Puljujarvi out on the ice with the boys. How can you not love this?