Jesse Puljujarvi has had a difficult time acclimatizing himself to the NHL level this season. He’s bounced in and out of the lineup and can’t seem to frequently find playing time on Todd McLellan’s team. According to Mark Spector, the Oilers might opt to send the young Finn to AHL Bakersfield for some seasoning.
Hearing now that Jesse Puljujarvi could be AHL-bound shortly.
Starting next Friday, Bakersfield plays five games in nine days.
Barring a scoring binge or huge rise in his level, I see him in the AHL for that stretch.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) November 8, 2018
Puljujarvi has played in 11 games this season and he has just one goal and no assists. He’s logging 12 minutes of ice time per game and has generally been used in the bottom-six. For his career, Puljujarvi has now played 104 NHL games with 14 goals and 15 assists.
He cracked the Oilers in his 18-year-old rookie season after being selected fourth overall in the 2016 draft. Puljujarvi would play 28 games with the big club that season before going down to Bakersfield for the rest of the year. In 2017-18, Puljujarvi started the year in the NHL while Kailer Yamamoto got his nine-game cup of coffee, then came up when Yamamoto went back down to Spokane of the WHL.
At this point, it seems obvious the best option for Puljujarvi is going down to the AHL to get more playing time. He’s only 20 years old and sitting in the press box, bouncing in and out of the NHL lineup isn’t doing anything for his development.