Puljujarvi with the Penguins
Photo credit: NHL.com

Penguins coach makes a bizarre decision with Jesse Puljujarvi

Published February 20, 2024 at 1:25 PM

Just a few weeks ago, Jesse Puljujarvi signed a two year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins after making the team on an AHL tryout offer while coming back from hip surgery. Puljujarvi's played just six games with the Penguins, and already, head coach Mike Sullivan has seen enough of him.

At practice yesterday, Sullivan had Puljujarvi practicing on defence, and revealed later that he will be healthy scratched next game.

Through his six games with the Penguins, Puljujarvi has not recorded any goals or assists, and has a rating of just +1 despite opportunities in the top six group. When asked about Puljujarvi practicing as a defenceman, coach Sullivan noted that Puljujarvi will be scratched for performance reasons, not to manage his hip recovery.

From reports out of Pittsburgh, it seems like Puljujarvi is showing the same problems with the Penguins as he had with the Oilers. He has incredible size and speed, and a decent ability to forecheck, but he can be caught out of position and has puck skills that are below NHL ability. He simply can not finish an offensive play.

Signed for two years by the Penguins for $800K, it won't matter much if Puljujarvi can't crack their struggling roster - it will be simple proof that Puljujarvi is just not an NHL quality forward. It's possible that he's soon reassigned to the Penguins AHL team, or GM Kyle Dubas tries to find an opportunity for him elsewhere. Certainly, Puljujarvi's fallen a long way short of expectations after being drafted 4th overall by the Oilers in 2016.
February 20   |   558 answers
Penguins coach makes a bizarre decision with Jesse Puljujarvi

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