Jesse Puljujarvi has a new number.
Revealed on Twitter Wednesday afternoon, Puljujarvi will be swapping from number 98 to number 13. For Puljujarvi, it marks a fresh start for the 2016 4th overall draft pick.
I was a huge fan of the 98 on the back of his jersey. It’s a unique number that historically has only been worn by two other NHL’ers in Brian Lawton and Mikhail Sergachev.
The jersey number has been worn 13 times before him, most recently by Jason Garrison in 2019.
While Puljujarvi donned number 39 in preseason hockey in 2016, number 98 hadn’t been kind to him. We all know the struggles he had in his first three years in Edmonton and it’s what led him to leave town to play in Finland when his entry-level contract finished.
Since then, he was able to find his game with Karpat scoring 65 points in 72 games and has come into Oilers training camp a new player.
While I love the uniqueness of number 98, I’m also a fan of Puljujarvi breaking away from the past he had with that number. I hope that a fresh number will have shift his focus, and that of others, surrounding him and his game.
On Twitter: @zjlaing