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Report: Jesse Puljujarvi could be on a short leash

I was listening to Oilers Now yesterday and I caught an interesting tidbit from Bob before the show got really rolling.

“Well it’s simple for Puljujarvi. If he doesn’t gain some traction at some point, he may be finding himself having a new address. Because I think the Oilers are going to have to make a decision with him”

Bob is the voice of the Oilers. He works on their flagship station and has proven knowledge of the inner workings of the organization, so when he goes out of his way to mention a roster player by name, people’s ears start to perk up. And when you consider the tone of the quote, you’d have to think that Puljujarvi is on the team’s radar and not in a good way.

It all seems a little over the top to expect a player who is really entering his second full year of NHL hockey (you’ll remember in his draft year he was given nineteen games more than the nine-game allowance the CBA has to not burn a year of team control) to be an impact player this quickly.

That lack of patience coupled with the fact that Puljujarvi’s most common linemates last year almost always included Milan Lucic who had the worst season of his career has people worried that we may have another witchhunt on our hands.

At the end of the day, the initial quote does sound like Bob is down on Jesse, but if you include the full comments afterwards it doesn’t sound nearly as harsh:

“I think Yamamoto (could steal that spot). And you saw Yamamoto the other night in the development camp. I mean he dominated, and he has the confidence of the other players and that was evident last year even when he was up in the NHL as well.”

I don’t think Stauffer was saying Jesse has been bad so much as Kailer Yamamoto might be ready to play his way into that spot on the right wing. Regardless of what actually happens, both players will have a very good chance to make an impact as the depth on the right side certainly leaves something to be desired. Then again, maybe the organization is already down on the player that fell into their laps with the 4th overall pick only two years ago.

Am I making too much of this? Are the Oilers trying to rush things a little bit? What do you guys think?

PULJUJARVI’S CAREER SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2014-15 Hokki Kajanni Mestis 15 8 5 13 8 9
2014-15 Karpat SM-liiga 21 4 7 11 10 4
2015-16 Karpat SM-liiga 50 13 15 28 22 5
2016-17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 28 1 7 8 10 5
2016-17 Bakersfield Condors AHL 39 12 16 28 10 -2
2017-18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 10 1 4 5 4 -2
2017-18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 65 12 8 20 14 -1
NHL Totals 93 13 15 28 24

  • Simba99

    They should have gotten rid of this slob already along with Mac t Lowe and the others. If all he does is report what the oilers brass is thinking you could replace him with a sock puppet and least he’d be more amusing than old whiskey nose

  • rivid

    Pulijujarvi should never have played a NHL game yet in his career. He should have stayed in Europe his first year and last year should have spent the entire year in the AHL. He was not strong enough the last two years, he skating was questionable and his shot average. The oilers should have a well designed plan and sat down with him and gone over all the things he should be working on to make it to the next level. This year should have been his coming out party. With that said we can not live on our mistakes, so the oilers need to have a plan for him, so he can work on the above. If it mean s time in the AHL, so be it. There is a player there, it will just take a little nurturing and patience.

  • Alberta Bound Edmonton

    Bob changed his tune today (Tuesday) speaking to the difference between Yak and Jesse. He suggested giving Jesse time and space (3rd line) to get his skates on the ice. (Feet under him). Patience please, patience.

  • Dapper Dan 3099

    So, just like last year, we are going to start the season with all playoff hopes hinging on guys (like JP) scoring a ton of goals and having career seasons. This is one of the MAIN reasons we failed miserably last year. I get there isn’t much cap to work with, but to not be able to address obvious areas of concern, and instead now have all the pressure on guys that have never come close to even scoring 20 goals to all of a sudden produce because “they are on a short leash” is why I get sick of being a fan of this team at times.

    I don’t see much of a difference in this team from last year, you can replace Maroon’s production with Reider (if were lucky), and Brodziak replaces Letestu. Yes I expect this team to be a bit better, but it’s I’m not convinced this is a playoff team (given the improvements other Western teams made)

    The only hope going in is expecting career years from a bunch of guys, and hoping nobody important gets injured. Sound familiar? I hope I’m wrong…

  • TKB2677

    The thing that JP has over Yak is his physical tools and he’s got a better understanding of the overall game. Yak wasn’t that big and didn’t have a clue how to play any kind of defense. Jesse is huge, can skate like the wind and he at least knows the defensive side of the ice as he’s made several goal saving defensive plays. So if Jesse doesn’t develop into a top 6 guy, he has enough physical tools and enough knowledge of he defensive end to at least be a 3rd liner. With Yak, he was either going to be a top 6 forward that could out score his HUGE lack of overall hockey IQ and game, especially his lack of defensive ability or he was gone to be out of the league as he is now.

    • Reg Dunlop

      The thing Yak has over JP is desire and hustle and passion. Still, I think JP will have success. With Nzvorth Metallurgicnezkmik. *Edmonton Oilers, suppliers of talent to the KHL since 2013*.

  • Rob...

    I stopped listening to Stauffer when he became Katz’s mouthpiece, threatening to move the team if they city didn’t play ball on arena negotiations. He has become Katz’s Sarah Sanders.

  • Kr55

    Give this kid a fair shot.

    I don’t get why high end prospects like Pulju need to be held to some kind of special standard. You see a slug like Caggiula get gift ice time with McDavid, turning McDavid into a replacement level player statistically. You see Lucic get 2 months to drag McDavid down because McLellan wants to help Lucic get a goal at the cost of the rest of the team. You see Letestu glued to the top PP unit all last season looking completely clueless and useless. But a guy like Pulju, one mistake, in the dog house, needs to perform miracles to even get another sniff and if it doesn’t work right away, back down he goes.

    McLellan should be on a far shorter leash than Pulju.

    • fasteddy

      I don’t disagree with this….throw the kid out there with some talented linemates and let him learn from mistakes. I’ve mentioned this analogy before, but Cgy would call up Marty St Louis and put him out for 6 Minutes a night with the sluggers….then send him down for not producing! I don’t think Niewendyk would have produced under those conditions!

    • Leichs

      Totally agree. Im not sure why Jesse is on such a short leash and theres no mention of guys like Caggs and Benning who had awful years.. They have essentially been in the league the same amount of time and are gifted roles, Caggs specifically. They are also years older and fully fluent in English yet its the youngest player Jesse taking all the flack. Wtf is up with that?

    • Moneyball

      It’s funny how some people have to insult and denigrate another player in order to build up puljujarvi. Let’s look at Caggiula he busted his hump in NCAA hockey and became a winner. Worked hard and got a spot in the nhl. Takes pucks in the face and comes back the next shift to play. That “slug” Caggiula has worked for everything he’s got out of hockey. Puljujarvi on the other hand has been given everything and blessed with size and taken, yet still Caggiula outperforms him.

      • Kr55

        What is your definition of “outperformed”. Like, being able to get more gifted ice time from the coach? Yeah, Caggiula definitely beat Pulju there.

        I appreciate how Caggiula will play through pain and that kind of stuff, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to winning games.

        Here are some stats to consider if you want to talk about outperformance.

        McDavid+Caggiula 5v5: 39.5% CF, 38.3% SF, 45.5% GF.

        McDavid+Puljujarvi 5v5: 54.6% CF, 53.4% SF, 61.9% GF.

        One guy somehow manages to make McDavid into a mediocre performer. One is able to keep is head significantly above water playing with McDavid. I think it’s clear which is which, but this seemed to be completely unclear to McLellan.

        It’s time for this coaching staff to get serious about trying to make best use of what they have, not trying to reward guys because of perceived effort. Letestu was clearly not going to turn into OV-lite again like he didfor a couple months in 16/17, but we just kept throwing him out there on the 1st PP. They love Caggiula and he kept being one of the top options to toss with McDavid when hope was being lost. Wasting everyones time for 2 months to try to get Lucic “going” was one of the most egregious examples of how much the coaches had lost the plot last season.

        All I want to see is this coaching staff get their crap together. I hope the new assistants can give McLellan’s head a shake this year.

  • Jimmer

    So what does success look like for JP this year? 20 goals – 20 assists? Based on what other players around him in the 2016 draft have put up I think that is a fair expectation. It won’t be easy unless he gets PP time in addition to his 3rd line roll. He has a great shot….he needs to be on the PP.

  • Lowe But Now High Expectations

    Other than Kurri and Tikkanen the Oilers have had little to no success with drafted Finnish players. They never seem to know how to develop them. Anyone remember Jani Rita.

    • That's My Point

      Only 13 goals and 28 points in 50 games before getting drafted.
      Jesse’s not really a goalscorer so they’re making a checker out of him. (4th overall checker)
      Ship him out now before he’s another Yak!!!
      At least Yak could score; beat ALL rookies and ALL Oilers his rookie year in goals and then was robbed of the Calder Trophy.
      Looking like the Oilers scouting missed the boat on this draft also as Jesse is no where near Calder or goal scoring leader his rookie year or on the Oilers.

      • Sasky89

        You do realize that there is a pretty significant difference between being a 17 year old in a Men’s league versus the CHL, and Yak is not a good comparison for a variety of reasons. Jesse might not turn into a Blake Wheeler but he has similar physical tools and draft pedigree, giving up on him at 20 year’s old would be idiotic.

  • Rama Lama

    It’s simple folks ……..our coach does not like him. Say what you want Bob Stauffer ( BS) but playing him on the third line, fourth line, is no way to judge the value of such a young player. I never saw a game last year where I though gee this Jesse Puljujarvi is what is ailing us!!!

  • NewPants

    12g – 20p and only -1 in 67 games. He’s tied for 7th with oiler forward Drake. He’s an NHL third-fourth liner at 20 years old. Why send him to the AHL now? At 20 he will get better making him one of the teams better bottom 6 forwards to start the season.

    Even if he only get’s 30p next season he’ll be worth resigning for depth. The oilers need 4 more of him.

    • Rob...

      Bob’s weight shouldn’t factor into this, and he may be many things, but an idiot isn’t one of them. Every job comes with sacrifices, and his dream job came with an extreme neutering of his personal opinion. Anyone who listened to him on 1260 would know and understand that change. However, that change loses him listeners who value honest criticism over fluff, corporately enforced messaging, and the odd scoop that you’ll hear about on other stations at most 10 minutes later.

  • ed from edmonton

    It took a year and a half longer for Yak to return to mother Russia than I expected. I didn’t think he would last a full year with Hitchcock and was shocked he got a contract this past season.

  • crabman

    If the team is frustrated that a 19 year old player didn’t break out and have an impact on the team last year they beed to give their head a shake. If he was a North American player drafted from the CHL there is a good chance he would just be turning pro this year
    I hope they aren’t down on him this early in his career.
    Young players need the leeway to make mistakesand learn from them. That is how he will learn and develope as a player.
    I’m not toatally against moving him but any trade invoving a young player like Puljujarvi needs to include talented young players, under team control. A Mark Stone type upfront or a Matt Dumba type on the backend. Both players make the Oilers better today, and possibly for a long time, but both are out of the Oiler price range without other signifacant moves sending out salary first.
    I think the Oilers have a chance at making the playoffs this year with the team as is but they are not cup contenders. For that reason I would rather be patient with players like Puljujarvi and Yamamoto and position this team to make this team a real contender in a couple of years.

  • The Perceptor

    I like Bob, but I don’t think this is fair. Jesse is still developing, and sure, next year will be telling, but let’s not start ramping up the negative media attention on this kid at this stage. Let’s talk mid season.

  • jaksqwat

    Put him with Lucic again!
    After all, Lucic will bounce back and have a 60pt year, skate like the wind, and stick handle like McDavid.
    Or maybe Strome? Yes, maybe PJ will develop his superiority with lackluster players all around him…
    It’s not the kid’s fault. Look at the team and how coaching went last year.

    • Kr55

      Sorry, not allowed. Pulju’s english wasn’t good enough to understand the genius Woodcroft zone entries on the 1st PP. You know, the brilliance that had guys like Letestu and Lucic carrying the puck into the zone and giving it away as soon as they got over the blue line. Only experts in English can pull that kind of stuff off.