Edmonton Oilers trade forward Jesse Puljujarvi to the Carolina Hurricanes

Photo credit:© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 year ago
The Edmonton Oilers have traded forward Jesse Puljujarvi to the Carolina Hurricanes, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported.
In return, the Oilers acquired Finnish prospect Patrik Puistola, as first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. He was drafted by the Hurricanes in the 3rd round of the 2019 draft and has yet to be signed by the team. His signing retires expire on June 1st of this year, according to CapFriendly
The Oilers are cleaning Puljujarvi’s full $3-million salary, as first reported by Chris Johnston.
Puistola, 22, stands at 6’0, 174 lbs. and is a left-shot winger. He’s playing for Jukurit in the Finnish Elite League this season where he’s scored 15 goals and 38 points in 56 games.
Here’s what The Hockey Writers wrote about him in his draft year:
Puistola can score, that’s proven in his stats. But what stands out most for the young player is how he makes it happen. Many scouts and hockey experts say that the Finnish prospect has the best hands in the draft. His puck handling is off the charts, making it seem at times that the puck is tied to his stick. He’s a very creative player, who can very easily make defenders look bad.
On the flip side, his skating is a big weak spot. His speed and stride are average at best and there will definitely be work to be done by the organization that drafts him to fix this. He has incredible talent with the puck, but his skating and play in the Liiga may see him drop a bit on draft day.
Ahead of this season, Puistola was listed by The Athletic’s Corey Pronman as a player in the Hurricanes system that “has a a chance to play.” Here’s what he wrote:
Puistola is a very skilled and creative forward who can score goals, but his skating and compete level are issues.
Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers 4th overall in the 2016 draft, Puljujarvi’s saga was a long one in Edmonton. Nobody expected the Bison King to be available at 4th, and the Oilers were quick to make the move to select him. Arguably the biggest mistake the Oilers made in the last numbers of years saw the team bring him right over to North America for his draft +1 season.
He has struggled early on despite playing big minutes, and the Oilers ended up sending him down in his rookie season. But as time progressed, Puljujarvi struggled to continue to find his way and by his third season, things fell off the rails. A nagging hip injury ended his season early and forced the player into double hip surgery at just 20-years-old.
As it had been all along, the biggest issue had been the fact that Puljujarvi was a very raw player coming out of the draft and needed more development time. The right move all along would’ve been to send him back to Finland to continue to let him develop.
After his surgery, Puljujarvi returned to Finland to play in the Finnish elite league with Karpat. After a strong seasons and a bit there, the Oilers under new management (Ken Holland and Dave Tippett) were able to convince Puljujariv to return to the Oilers. He had strong seasons in 2020-21 and 2021-22 scoring 29 goals and 61 points in 120 games, but this season his game took a step back as the Oilers buried him down the lineup.
Now, Puljujarvi is off to Carolina where he will join fellow countrymen Sebastian Aho Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Teuvo Teravainen, and Antti Raanta.
For the Oilers, they clear $3-million in cap space in a move that should set them up to acquire a defenceman ahead of the deadline. Earlier Tuesday, it was reported that the Oilers were in talks with the Arizona Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun, Nashville Predators about Mattias Ekholm and the Columbus Blue Jackets about Vladislav Gavrikov. 

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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