8

Saturday Sunshine: Pizza Pool Party

The sunshine of positivity is shining so bright Edmonton can barely handle it. Last week’s sunshine had us basking in a rookie who has the RD looking oh so bright going forward. This week we take a look at the Oilers RW options, and that crowd favourite pizza eating, tongue loving man. So sit back, slide that needle onto that sweet sunny theme song and let us all enjoy the glow of Jesse Puljujarvi.

At the Nation Draft party oh so long ago now in 2016, as the Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekäläinen passed over the projected pick of Jesse Puljujarvi for Pierre-Luc Dubois, pundits were shocked and Oilers fans were excited. The Oilers got a big right winger to fill the gap behind Jordan Eberle. What scouts had to say about Jesse at the time:

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.”

I think that’s a fair assessment for what we have seen from JP so far. a strong looking kid who when giving a chance to succeed has done well.

Where my excitement for this player comes from is having another year under his belt and the rumours that he was finally given an English tutor this season to help his speech along. From where I blog, I have had a tough enough time trying to survive on my many road trips through Quebec trying to get gas, let alone trying to play a sport with its own language in and of itself. The fact that he has had a chance to work on his communication and on top of that spent the entire year last year as Milan Lucic’s linemate (who had just an absolute disastrous second half that Puljujarvi no doubt felt the effects of too) only bodes well for him coming into this season with a fresh look at the ice and perhaps maybe even a new linemate or two.

The arrows all point up for Jesse Puljujarvi as a player but off the ice JP provided us with some of the best stories and video clips that Oilers fans used to soften the blow of last year’s disappointment with:

From jumping into cars:

Jesse Puljujarvi hitches ride home with a fan

To jumping onto the ODR:

Jesse Puljujarvi, ODR enthusiast and hero to kids everywhere

To that untameable spirit that is always making Oilers fans smile:

And finally some of the purest and unassuming interviews we have ever seen:

He is an absolute fan favourite and a guy that is impossible to cheer against. That combined with all the untapped potential with this young man the future is bright.

Jesse Puljujarvi is definitely a positive.

Soak Up All Previous Sunshine:

  • Van isl Oiler

    I love these positive articles. You writers at ON should have a rule: at least one positive blog everyday. Lets stop dumping on the Oilers and start pumping them up. You writers have a lot of power to start changing the attitude towards the team.

    • Spydyr

      I’m all for cheering on Puljujarvi he is my kind if player and his love for the game shines through but drinking the kool-aid and “pumping” up the Oilers after one season in the playoffs in twelve years and crapping the bed last season is a laughable.

  • OriginalPouzar

    The NHL is riddled with highly touted European players that establish themselves in the NHL in their draft plus 3 year (or even later).

    Recent examples include William Nylander, David Pastrnak and Mikko Rattanen. Each of those three players spent part of their draft plus 2 season in the AHL, just like Jesse, and established themselves as top 6 NHL players in their draft plus 3 years. Jesse’s progression has not been far off those 3 and Jesse was younger at each stage than each of those 3.

    Lets not forget, Puljujarvi is only 4 months older that Yamamoto – he was a teenager the last time he played an NHL game and was eligible for the World Juniors earlier this year – lets not forget how young this kid is.

    Not to mention his body type is the type that often takes longer to develop.

    I truly think Patrick Laine’s success has skewed reasonable expectations of many Oiler fans for this prospect.