With the December 1st Restriced Free Agent deadline looming large, the Hurricanes should ask themselves; is it worth diving in to pick up the Finnish talent?
Jesse Puljujarvi is a man of many talents. He is, among a man with a name that is almost impossible to spell, a former 4th overall pick in the 2016 NHL entry draft. However, the winger has had some trouble since he was drafted, and currently finds himself playing overseas. So should Carolina make a move for the man nicknamed “Pool party”?
Puljujarvi is currently playing for Oulu Kärpät of Liiga in Finland. This might not be of any real care, until you realise who the general manager of Karpat is. Harri Aho, yes the father of Sebastian Aho. Puljujarvi and Aho also played on a line at the World Junior Championships, accompanied by the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NHL entry draft, Patrik Laine.
Carolina also have a desperate need for another top 9 winger, preferably a right handed shot. Carolina’s only right handed forward is rookie Martin Necas. Jesse Puljujarvi is a right handed top 6 calibre winger who’s fallen out of favor with Edmonton’s general manager Ken Holland. Maybe a change of scenery wakes the sleeping giant Puljujarvi was considered to be?
Carolina would only have until December 1st to sign him, if they do indeed acquire his services. This may be a disincentive if Puljujarvi outlines his desire to continue to play in the Finnish Liiga. It may also not be a strong desire of his to return to the NHL right now, after his time in Edmonton. With that being said, maybe he would realise what some other players have done after leaving Edmonton, and consider giving it a try?
Puljujarvi seems like good fit for Carolina for the American version of the Finnish team. With guys like Eetu Luostarinen, Teuvo Teravainen, Erik Haula and Sebastian Aho, maybe he would feel more at home than he did in Edmonton. If he wishes to hail his Swedish birthplace, Lucas Wallmark may help him feel at home.
Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent who, hasn’t exactly set the NHL on fire over his short time in the league. Over 137 games, he has 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points. For a former 4th overall pick, that’s not great. Just for some context, Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin were 5th overall picks. Puljujarvi is distantly behind the two former Hurricanes.
Over his time in Edmonton, “Pool party” was never really seen as a heart and soul effort kind of player, which leaves many questions about how he would potentially fit into the system of Rod Brind’amour should Carolina acquire him. Would his work rates be good enough for Rod? Would his skill elevate the play of the Carolina Hurricanes in the absence of the aforementioned Erik Haula?
There are a lot of rumors with where Puljujarvi will end up, because he has stated it will not be to Edmonton where he goes. With teams across the league being linked with the young Swedish-born Finnish talent, its very easy to see why he is such a desired asset, specifically when it is known he holds to value to Edmonton at this moment.