Jesse Puljujarvi is not enjoying a strong World Hockey Championships. Early in the tournament, he wasn’t getting any playing time. Once given a chance, he looked dangerous and dynamic. Several games later, he remains pointless and scoreless. Jesse Puljujarvi does this a lot, far more than you’d like to see from a player with his clear natural gifts. Can Jesse Puljujarvi score goals?
- Friday May 5: 0:00 TOI versus Belarus
- Sunday, May 7: 5:37 TOI, 2 shots, six shifts versus France (looked good)
- Monday, May 8: 13:20 TOI, 4 shots, 16 shifts versus Czech
- Wednesday, May 10: 15:27 TOI, 4 shots, 21 shifts versus Slovakia
- Saturday, May 13: 13:12 TOI, 1 shot, 17 shifts versus Finland
- Boxcars: 5gp, 0-0-0
- Average TOI: 9:20
- Shots on goal: 11
Finland has a poor team this year, and some accounts suggest a coach who may be in over his head. In the game I saw Puljujarvi he was brilliant, but the concerns I have about his goal-scoring ability continue to brew on a rather high boil.
JESSE PULJUJARVI NHLE
- Age 16: 82gp, 32-16-48
- Age 17: 82gp, 6-7-13
- Age 18: 82gp, 13-18-31
Age 16 JP was in Finland’s junior league, no doubt getting plenty of playing time. In his draft year, Puljujarvi played in Sm-Liiga, and his ice-time (15:04) was truly substantial for a player his age. Puljujarvi’s point total (15-13-28) was good enough to rank No. 58 in league scoring (Patrik Laine ranked No. 35 with 33 points). Puljujarvi had 14 shots per 60 minutes in the Sm-Liiga last year by my count (Laine was 19.10/60). Source
I think we learn very little from a short tournament like the WHC’s, and I am generally pleased with JP’s TOI total, plus he is getting shots on goal. I am impatient to see him post a grand total in the goals column and at this point it seems fair to point this out.
Which brings me to a question: At what point do the Oilers at least contemplate moving this player in order to maximize value? I am absolutely certain many of you will scream overreaction in the comments section, but this has reached the point of genuine concern for me. Does Jesse Puljujarvi bring enough offense to the game for us to consider him more than a complementary player? If this is true, is there value in at least contemplating making a move? I believe it is worth a conversation.
Ethan Bear posted two more assists last night, as the Seattle Thunderbirds took a 3-2 series lead over the Regina Pats in the WHL Finals. His playoff boxcars (16gp, 6-18-24) represent terrific production and match his postseason numbers of one year ago (18gp, 8-14-22). I am seeing conversations surrounding Bear and possibly pushing for an NHL job this fall, and would put the brakes on that kind of expectation (were I part of those conversations).
Red Line report ranked Bear No. 81 in his draft year, giving a very positive review. RLR did say he needed to work on his coverage and he sometimes lost position looking for a big hit. We should always fall on the side of more seasoning when it comes to defensemen, and for Bear that mean Bakersfield. You can’t go fast enough to get there early.
CRAIG BUTTON’S MOCK
We are getting closer to draft day and lists are being finalized. Craig Button (who I respect as a scout, his independence is refreshing and his rankings are mostly quality) has a mock draft out and picked an outstanding name for Edmonton:
- 22. Edmonton Oilers: Kole Lind, RW, Kelowna (WHL) A highly skilled winger who plays at high pace and can score and threaten offensively. Source
I have Lind No. 21 on my list, so it matches up with Button’s thinking. I will have an updated list in the coming days. Button’s list is outstanding, cannot wait to see his final list.
With the season now over, I will redouble efforts to produce the RE series final 25 (or so) posts, including Peter Chiarelli and Todd McLellan. Milan Lucic will be up at 5pm local time today, and you may enjoy reading the three items that had already been produced: