Patrik Puistola, the prospect the Oilers received in exchange for Jesse Puljujarvi, is now a free agent

Cam Lewis
10 months ago
Every year on June 1, a list of unsigned NHL prospects will have their rights expire and will no longer belong to the teams that drafted them. Some of those players will go back into the draft and the ones who are too old to do so will become unrestricted free agents.
The deadline has come and gone, and among the players hitting free agency is Patrik Puistola, who the Oilers received from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Jesse Puljujarvi earlier this year.
Puistola was selected by the Hurricanes in the third round of the 2019 draft and gained some notoriety as a prospect later that same year when he scored eight points over seven games for Finland at the World Juniors. It took him a few years to find his groove playing in Finland’s top league but Puistola broke through this season with 16 goals and a team-leading 40 points over 60 games for Jukurit Mikkeli.
The Oilers opting to let this prospect go isn’t much of a surprise. There’s been virtually zero talk about Puistola since he was acquired and the Puljujarvi trade was ultimately about moving out $3 million in salary to help facilitate the additions of Mattias Ekholm and Nick Bjugstad. He’s a player with talent and upside but his production to this point in Liiga doesn’t suggest a future in the NHL.
On the other side, the Hurricanes will have until June 25 to decide whether or not to issue Puljujarvi a qualifying offer. If they do, he’ll become a restricted free agent with the right to go to salary arbitration. If not, he’ll hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
Puljujarvi appeared in 17 games for the Hurricanes and recorded two assists. He also suited up for seven games in the playoffs and had one assist.

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