RFAs Puljujarvi, Honka ineligible to play in NHL for rest of season


Edmonton Oilers right wing Jesse Puljujarvi will finish the season in Finland after not signing a new contract before the 5 p.m. ET deadline on Dec. 1. (Kevin Hagen/AP)

Restricted free agents Jesse Puljujarvi of the Edmonton Oilers and Julius Honka of the Dallas Stars are ineligible to play in the NHL for the remainder of the season.

Both players needed to sign contracts before 5 p.m. ET on Sunday to play this season, but they had each requested a trade and are currently playing in Europe. Their NHL teams still control their rights and they still can be traded this season, but they can’t play.

Puljujarvi, 21, is playing with Oulun Karpat in the Finnish Liiga. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reported Saturday that even if his contract was traded by the Oilers, Puljujarvi planned to finish the season with Karpat. He has 11 goals and 24 points in 25 games this season.

Honka, 23, “wants to get back to North America,” Johnston reported Saturday, adding the Stars were still weighing their options, but the deadline passed without a trade coming together. Honka is playing for JYP Jyvaskyla in Finland’s Liiga, but The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro, citing Honka’s agent, reported the defenceman could change teams again this season.


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