Injured NHL draft prospect Puljujarvi out ‘a few weeks’

Finland's Olli Juolevi (4), Sebastian Aho (20), Joni Tuulola, centre, Patrik Laine (29) and Jesse Puljujarvi (9) celebrate the goal. (Heikki Saukkomaa/AP)

The lower-body injury suffered by top NHL draft prospect Jesse Puljujarvi during a Finnish league game over the weekend isn’t believed to be too serious.

The 17-year-old winger “should not miss more than a few weeks of action,” agent Markus Lehto of Acme World Sports, told Sportsnet Monday.

Puljujarvi was hit awkwardly into the boards while playing for Karpat against HIFK in Helsinki on Friday night. The player’s legs were turned sideways when defenceman Lauri Taipalus bodychecked him hard early in the third period.

He didn’t finish the game and walked gingerly out of the arena.

Puljujarvi was second among European skaters in mid-season rankings by NHL central scouting, finishing behind expected No. 1 draft pick Auston Matthews. The Finn was named MVP and top forward at the world junior championship earlier this year after leading the tournament in scoring and helping the host country win gold.

Karpat has two games remaining in its regular season and is due to start the playoffs on March 18.

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