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.
Kärpät on solminut yksivuotisen sopimuksen hyökkääjä Jesse Puljujärven kanssa! 🔥🔥🔥
— Oulun Kärpät (@OulunKarpatFi) August 27, 2019
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.
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.