Though everyone in Edmonton’s top focus right now is gearing up for the playoffs, Ken Holland has been doing some work on next season’s roster.
According to Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now, Holland has been in contact with Jesse Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto, multiple times over the past few weeks. Holland also reportedly had a Zoom call with both Puljujarvi and Lehto.
He and Tippett had a zoom call with Jesse and Lehto recently too.
"There's communication, we'll see where it goes."
— Brenden Escott (@BrendenEscott) July 27, 2020
This time last year, it seemed like Puljujarvi had played his final game as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. Last summer, he requested a trade, seeking a change of scenery from Edmonton, where the first few years of his career hadn’t gone according to plan. He then went on to play the entirety of the 2019-20 season in Finland.
But, as time has gone along, the possibility of the further fourth-overall pick giving his Oilers career another shot has been given new life. Back in June, Puljujarvi said “never say never” when asked about his future with the Oilers.
Puljujärvi repeating his stance ”never say never” when asked if returning to Oilers is possible. He says though that everything is open now and he hasn’t set any time lines for the decision. Playing with Kärpät is also an option for the next season. https://t.co/6TuKmqKB9d
— Mari Lönnberg (@LonnbergMari) June 11, 2020
While I can empathize with the young Finn wanting a fresh start elsewhere, the reality is the current Oilers are much, much different than the previous Oilers he was a part of with Peter Chiarelli steering the ship and Todd McLellan/Ken Hitchock behind the bench.
Bringing in the stabling presence of both Ken Holland and Dave Tippett has been a game-changer in Edmonton, and Puljujarvi would be returning to a much more favourable situation. Tippett has received plenty of praise throughout his career for his work with young players. It could be a nice fit for Puljujarvi, who just turned 22 years old in May.
Let’s hope Holland and Puljujarvi’s camp can come to terms on a deal. It would be great to see him put it together in Edmonton.