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Jesse Puljujarvi coming up on a deadline to keep his career alive


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Liam McCormick
January 25, 2024  (6:01 PM)
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Puljujarvi practicing with the Penguins
Photo credit: Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins

Drafted fourth overall by the Edmonton Oilers back in 2016, Jesse Puljujarvi hasn't come close to the offensive expectations of such a high draft pick, but he still managed to become a fan favourite for his personality and an analytical darling for his play-driving statistics. This season has been another tough year for Puljujarvi, now trying to play well enough to earn himself a full-time contract in North America - and now he's running out of time once again.

Puljujarvi signed a professional tryout contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins' AHL affiliate after coming off double hip surgery last offseason. He can play up to 25 games with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins before Kyle Dubas needs to make a decision on whether or not to retain Puljujarvi, who's now about to play his tenth game with the team. Now, analyst Kevin Pappetti of the Athletic seems to think Puljujarvi may not receive a contract offer in Pittsburgh, meaning he'd be a free agent once again.
Puljujarvi has impressed in his time in the AHL, actually showing some of the offensive ability he sorely lacked in the NHL. In 9 games so far, Puljujarvi's scored 3 goals and 6 points. Pappetti speculates that some other teams, like the Leafs, may be interested in bringing a cheap, 2-way player into the system.
If Puljujarvi isn't signed to an official contract by the Penguins in the next 14 games, he could once again become a free agent. If that becomes the case, it seems unlikely that Puljujarvi would get another shot at an NHL team, and may elect to return to play overseas. For now however, all of Oil Country is still cheering on Puljujarvi and keeping his NHL dream alive.
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JANUARY 25   |   505 ANSWERS
Jesse Puljujarvi coming up on a deadline to keep his career alive

Will Puljujarvi play in the NHL again?

Yes8817.4 %
Yes, but not this year9518.8 %
No, he'll go overseas30259.8 %
See Results204 %
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