Jesse Puljujarvi inks one-year deal with Kärpät in Finland

We’ve arrived at the next chapter of the Jesse Puljujarvi saga. The young Finn has officially inked a one-year deal to play with Kärpät of the Finnish Elite League.

Puljujarvi and his agent have been saying all off-season that the former fourth-overall draft pick doesn’t have a desire to return to Edmonton and continue to be an Oiler. He said if the organization couldn’t orchestrate a trade to get him a fresh start that he would spend his season overseas. It seems that wasn’t a bluff.

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A lot can change between now and the start of training camp, but it’s hard to imagine Puljujarvi changing his mind after committing to a Finnish team. Puljujarvi’s contract has a clause in which he can opt out and sign with an NHL team prior to Dec. 1. This is directly in line with the NHL’s rule of restricted free agents having to sign before the Dec. 1 cutoff. If Dec. 1 rolls around and there’s no trade or contract from the Oilers, Puljujarvi will spend his whole year in Europe.

Obviously, I’d like to see Puljujarvi come to camp and capitalize on the opportunity to play major minutes on a team without much quality depth on the wings, but the young Finn could potentially rebuild his value in an environment in which he’s more comfortable. If he goes and lights the world on fire in Finland, it becomes much easier for Holland to make a trade that’s worthwhile for the Oilers.

  • GRC

    If Jesse really wants to ‘up his value’ then he needs to show that he can deal with adversity. Show that he can push though being uncomfortable….rise above the discomfort.
    Playing in Finland and succeeding accomplishes none of that. It just shows that he needs the familiar. The comfort of playing in an inferior League in his home country is what he needs to succeed.
    I dont see how that makes one bit of difference to a GM thats been paying attention to Jesses situation.

  • blobbo

    Toronto is struggling to pay Marner. Cowgary is struggling to pay Tkachuk. Winnipeg is struggling to pay Laine. If there’s a positive to a first round bust, it’s that he’s inexpensive.