According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the Oilers haven’t yet made a decision on the restricted free agent, who requested a trade out of Edmonton in June, but the former fourth-overall pick has drawn trade suitors with a strong start to his season in Finland.
“Right now, Ken Holland has a lot of different options,” Johnston said during the Headlines portion of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. “He’s talked extensively with teams going back to this summer, I believe the New York Rangers are a team that continues to show persistent interest in Jesse Puljujarvi.”
Puljujarvi didn’t sign his qualifying offer with the Oilers after bouncing back and forth between the NHL and AHL in his first three seasons with the Edmonton franchise. But the team still holds his NHL rights, and will have to decide whether it will sign him or trade him before the Dec. 1 RFA deadline.
“Ken Holland is headed over to watch him play in an international tournament in the coming days,” Johnston said. “I don’t believe the Oilers have reached an internal decision on what they’re going to do here — if it’s a trade right away, if they hold onto his rights beyond the Dec. 1 headline … or if they try and keep him.”
Recently hired Oilers general manager Ken Holland stated in October that he’d been in talks with Puljujarvi and his agent, saying he was “hoping” the Swede would chance his mind about the trade request, but that seemed unlikely. Holland also alluded to listening to some offers at that time, but preached patience.
Puljujarvi has put up 11 goals and 20 points in 18 games this season with Karpat, where he played from 2014 to 2016, before entering the NHL. A fourth-overall pick with Edmonton in 2016, the 21-year-old had 17 goals and 20 assists in 139 NHL games before his relationship with the Oilers went sour and he decided to make the move back to Finland.