Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi open to staying all year in Europe

Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi. (Jason Franson/CP)

While the Edmonton Oilers are enjoying a 5-0-0 start to the season, there is still one situation that will require some attention down the road regarding restricted free agent Jesse Puljujarvi.

The Oilers’ fourth overall pick from the 2016 draft continues to play with Oulun Karpat of the Finnish Elite League and doesn’t look to be in any rush to make a return to the NHL.

“I’m hearing he’s comfortable staying all year in Finland,” said Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Obviously the Oilers might have a decision to make for what’s best for them, as they get closer to the Dec. 1 deadline where he has to be traded and signed if he’s gonna play in the NHL this year.”

Puljujarvi requested a trade out of Edmonton back in June and did not sign his qualifying offer so that he could sign a contract in Finland. The Oilers still hold his NHL rights and will have to decide whether they will sign him or trade him before Dec. 1.

The 21-year-old seems to have found his confidence back home with Karpat as he’s leading the team with five goals and 11 points in 11 games. He also had two goals and four points in four Champions Hockey League games.

“I get the feeling that’s a comfortable situation for the player. He’s trying to get his confidence back, trying to get his game back and he might be the best player right now in the Finnish Elite League.”

Before signing in Finland, Puljujarvi had 17 goals and 20 assists in 139 career games.

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