RE 17-18 JESSE PULJUJARVI: LEARN TO FLY

There are relatively few massive shifts in the history of a sports franchise. The Oilers arrived in 1972, and if I were to make a list of stages, it would probably number six.

  • The WHA Years (72-78)
  • The Boys on the Bus (79-91)
  • Sather’s Coda (92-99)
  • Lowe and MacT (00-06)
  • Wandering in the Wilderness (07-14)
  • The McDavid Years (15+)

The lottery win and Connor McDavid’s arrival represented a new day for the Oilers. The Stanley Cup doesn’t arrive because of one player, but the road to glory is much easier with 97 here for the next decade. Even more impressive, the 2014 draft pick (Leon Draisaitl) has the look of being an impact player and the 2016 pick (Jesse Puljujarvi) also has terrific pedigree. Having a cluster like this one for the next 10 years is an astounding stroke of good fortune. The only two questions left are how much of the load can Leon carry and will Jesse Puljujarvi be an offensive contributor of consequence. They are big questions. (Learn to Fly)

JESSE PULJUJARVI 2016-17

  • 5×5 points per 60: 1.45 (7th among all forwards)
  • 5×4 points per 60: 2.66 (one goal in 22 minutes)
  • Corsi for 5×5 %: 53.2
  • Corsi Rel 5×5 %: 2.1
  • DFF Elite 5×5 %: 32.8
  • DFF Elite Rel 5×5 %: -7.5 (30 percent of TOI v. elites)
  • Shots on goal/percentage: 41 shots/2.4%
  • Boxcars: 28gp, 1-7-8
  • (All numbers via Puck IQStats.HockeyAnalysis.com and hockey-reference)

RE 17-18: 65GP, 14-14-28 (.431)

  1. Isn’t this the same RE as last summer for JP? Yes. Last season’s RE is here.
  2. How did you come to this number? Last season’s performance in the AHL give us some clues about Puljujarvi as a player this season.
  3. Meaning? I think he was perhaps a little unlucky at the NHL level during his 28 games and the AHL totals (NHLE: 27.7) are probably a closer match to actual ability.
  4. What do you think of him as a player? I like his size and speed, his abandon and was really surprised by JP’s ability to win puck battles even as a kid. He also ends up on the right (defensive) side of the puck a lot, more than any Oilers prospect winger since Magnus Paajarvi. He has a complete skill set.
  5. Who would you compare him to offensively? JP scored .29 points-per-game, that’s a little less than Tyler Seguin (.30) and Ryan Johansen (.31). Mike Fisher is in there too, entire list is here.
  6. What about the Euros who played in the AHL before 20? I wrote about several of them over at ON, for me Mikko Rantanen is a pretty good comp.
  7. Rantanen and Fisher are not impact offensive players. Jesse Puljujarvi isn’t projecting as one either, but these are early days. I think we can say with some confidence he’ll play in the NHL and should be productive. Is that as a two-way player, or an offensive impact player? We can’t say we know he’ll be an impact player with the puck on his stick at this time, but he’s very young and that has to be remembered in this conversation.
  8. Where do you have him playing this season? Puljujarvi is likely to get playing time on the second and third lines, if he falls below that for long he’ll be back in the AHL.
  9. Can you see him in Bakersfield? Yes. Certainly. You want Puljujarvi to be confident and playing in the NHL, if he isn’t then the Condors are an option.
  10. Would you be surprised to see him start the season in Bakersfield? Yes, I think the Oilers will start the season with the young Finn in the every night lineup.
  11. Who do you have him playing with? My lineup has JP playing RW, Jussi Jokinen on LW and either RNH or Ryan Strome at center. It’s the soft parade 3line that will be counted on to outscore lesser opposition.
  12. And his time on the 2line? I have Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl, then Lucic-Nuge-Slepyshev plus Jokinen-Strome-Puljujarvi and Caggiula-Letestu-Kassian. I kind of have Kassian as swing man with Slepyshev (if the youngster can’t deliver) and Caggiula as a candidate to step onto the soft minutes line if JP struggles. This is where a veteran would come in damned handy, but we go to war with the tools in our grasp.
  13. And his time on the 2line? If Puljujarvi shows well and Slepyshev struggles, they may switch. I don’t think it’s likely, because of the age difference, but it’s possible.
  14. Do you think Todd McLellan feels the same way? My kingdom for that knowledge.
  15. What’s your guess? My guess is that Peter Chiarelli would like Puljujarvi to make the team and show progress this season. That isn’t the same as Todd McLellan finding a way to win games with JP in the lineup this year though.
  16. And Todd McLellan doesn’t like him? I think Todd McLellan wants to win hockey games. You know, it’s wildly unfair to ask a coach to thread the needle with young players. Especially on a skill line.
  17. Okay, how much separation is there from Patrik Laine to Jesse Puljujarvi offensively? I believe it’s best to compare players at 5×5. It’s clean and you can put them on somewhat same levels.
  18. What was their 5×5 scoring? Puljujarv was 1.45/60 5×5 scoring, aided heavily by time with Connor McDavid. Laine was 2.33 and spent much of his season with Mark Schiefele and Nikolaj Ehlers.
  19. This is awful. Actually, I don’t think it’s a tragedy. Puljujarvi is a big awkward kid, but he pummeled his age group at WJ’s. I think he’ll grow into that ridiculous hockey body and win a lot of puck battles. What I don’t know, and this is what I’ve been staring at for ages, is what kind of goal-scorer and offensive player he’ll be as an NHL player.
  20. What do you mean? His goals appear to be tap-ins or gorgeous breakaways or fluke shots. Not all of course, and he does have a hammer on the power-play. He was 5-5-10 at 5×5 in 39 AHL games, maybe he’ll have more impact as he matures. Certainly impacted the world juniors.
  21. Your numbers are low. In his draft +2 season, David Pastrnak went 51, 15-11-26. That’s not far from what I am projecting for Jesse Puljujarvi.
  22. So bottom line you like him and you think he might never score 30 goals in a season? If JP lands on McDavid’s line he might score 30 just because.
  23. Do you think they should have kept him up or brought him back? Should have given him a cup of coffee late March. I know why they didn’t, but if you bring him back, plug him in and he scores a goal, then you all head out for summer feeling good. Now it’s a big damned mystery and I’m in July with a slide rule, a Bunsen burner and all 942 Nostradamus quatrains trying to figure this damned thing out.
  24. Why this song? It’s about breaking out, finding a new day. Jesse  Puljujarvi has ridiulous talent and has had enormous success in his young career. Asked to guess, I would bet my house on his being a very productive NHL player. I can’t find top dead center for his offense for love nor money. You know, I’m glad this one is done.

 

 

 

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28 Responses to "RE 17-18 JESSE PULJUJARVI: LEARN TO FLY"

  1. thehop says:

    I believe he will follow the same path as Draisaitl and a year maybe two years from now we will be singing praise from the high heavens that Columbus took the Frenchman and the better player fell to us.

    You heard it here… He is McDavid’s Kurri.

  2. Thinker says:

    I will bet money on JP right now. Think he starts in the minors, but is back before christmas.

  3. jtblack says:

    “Wandering in the Wilderness (07-14)” – That’s a good way to put it ….

    Drai @ 18. 37 GP 2 G 7 A 9 P
    Smyth @ 19. 48 GP 2 G 9 A 11 P
    JP @ 18. 28 GP 1 G 7 A 8 P

    The highest / best comparables … Let’s hope and pray JP cranks it up like Smytty and Drai did after stumbling out of the blocks …

    I like your RE. I think if JP someone squeezes onto PP1 his numbers could surpass 20 / 20. Otherwise I like your call …

    At the point already, where I just want camp to get underway!!!!!!!! Hockey withdrawal has officially kicked in … Thanks for taking the edge off with your awesome work !

  4. OriginalPouzar says:

    Again, so hard to predict as who knows where any of these secondary wingers are going to play. He could start the season anywhere from 1RW to the AHL – likely somewhere in between.

    I also am highly confident he’ll start the year on the roster and in the lineup and I hope he earns it at camp and isn’t gifted that spot – he finished the year as a good, not great, AHL player next year so a roster spot implies some development/improvement.

    Third line with Jokinen and Nuge/Strome sounds about right to start (camp depending) but, if its Nuge, I can’t see it being “soft parade”. I think they want to give Nuge some help with the elite minutes but I don’t think he does from 42% of time with elites to “soft parade”.

  5. NSmitty says:

    Is the “Learn To Fly” video the greatest music-video of all time? Why, yes. Yes it is.

  6. russ99 says:

    It’s really hard to tell which Jesse we’re going to get this year.

    First off, unless he has an awful camp, you have to assume he’ll break camp with the Oilers due to the problems he had in Bakersfield.

    I know the Oilers brass consider Gerry Fleming a good developmental coach, but Jesse was deployed strangely and he had a difficult time adjusting to life as an AHL player and North American hockey at an age when most similar prospects are sent back to junior or back overseas. It was akin throwing him in the deep end and expecting him to swim.

    So I believe it would be a backwards step to send him back to start the year, and could not only discourage the player but also send his development track backwards rather than forwards, and increase the chances we lose him to Europe if things don’t work out over the next two years.

    We did see some offensive improvement late last season in Bakersfield, but it remains to be seen if he can get the puck in similar areas with tougher opposition pressure in the NHL that will allow him to progress as a goal scorer.

    Regardless, Puljujarvi is strong with and without the puck on the wall and is a rare prospect that has a NHL level game when it comes to systems play.

    The hope is he continues to grow with more NHL icetime and the offense will bloom over time.

    My fear is McLellan utilizes his system game on a tough minutes line, likely with Jokinen and RNH, and the offense is slow to come or doesn’t come at all.

  7. vangolf says:

    NSmitty:
    Is the “Learn To Fly” video the greatest music-video of all time? Why, yes. Yes it is.

    Robin thicke’s blurred lines says hello!

  8. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – I really have no sense as to what he ends up. Drai: he was looking like a bust, and the handling of him didn’t make sense

    – With pool: the advantage is the team is actually good without him, so they don’t need to plug him in and sell the fans the dream

    – Your bang on: McL is here to win, he will play pool accordingly

  9. matt says:

    The Oilers should have promised Foo the JPJ roster spot and asked JPJ to dominate the AHL first, per Lander.

  10. dustrock says:

    Sending him down for the rest of the year directly after Game 40 was a pretty obvious tell that was a condition of him coming over.

    Otherwise yes he would have been down after 9 games I think.

    IIRC, one of the knocks on Jesse, at least pre-WJHC destruction, was his lack of 5v5 scoring. But Finnish men’s league so who knows.

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux:
    – I really have no sense as to what he ends up.Drai: he was looking like a bust, and the handling of him didn’t make sense

    He was?

    I recall a teenager given too much responsibility and too many tough minutes in his rookie pro season.

    I don’t believe bust was a word every associated with Drai but reasonable fans that understand development is almost always necessary.

  12. JDî says:

    I think that if Jesse gets in a good workout this summer, something he didn’t have a year ago, he will show much better in training camp.

  13. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    OriginalPouzar: He was?

    I don’t believe bust was a word every associated with Drai but reasonable fans that understand development is almost always necessary.

    – If Pool has a year like Drai’s 2nd crack at the NHL: we are talking lots of cups.

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Is that possible without Taylor Hall?

  15. Pescador says:

    Thinker:
    I will bet money on JP right now. Think he starts in the minors, but is back before christmas.

    That would be the smart money IMO. Lowetide is probably spot on, 3RW is his job to lose with this roster.
    I would rather he got shelter with:
    JJ. RNH. JP,
    Stauffer today had:
    Cag. Strome. JP.

  16. Professor Q says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – If Pool has a year like Drai’s 2nd crack at the NHL: we are talking lots of cups.

    Only if you could get him signed reasonably after such an event.

  17. Thinker says:

    NSmitty:
    Is the “Learn To Fly” video the greatest music-video of all time? Why, yes. Yes it is.

    Call on me by Eric Prydz?

  18. stush18 says:

    Is JP considered a rookie by the NHL next year?

  19. Lowetide says:

    stush18:
    Is JP considered a rookie by the NHL next year?

    No. 25 games is the outer limit

  20. stush18 says:

    Lowetide: No. 25 games is the outer limit

    Damn. Not that it really matters, but he could hav a real shot this yr if he busts out like drai did his second yr playing with mcdavid. I’m not sure the rookie crop will be that explosive this yr.

  21. NSmitty says:

    Thinker: Call on me by Eric Prydz?

    Got me there.

    Re Jesse: I believe that in a few seasons, regardless of his overall offensive output, he will have single handedly won the Oilers a number of games. He won’t be solely responsible for many losses either, if any.

  22. stush18 says:

    NSmitty: Got me there.

    Re Jesse: I believe that in a few seasons, regardless of his overall offensive output, he will have single handedly won the Oilers a number of games. He won’t be solely responsible for many losses either, if any.

    Cuz he’ll be traded for doughty?

  23. hags9k says:

    JP reminds me of a young Sundin. No pressure kid!

  24. SoCaloil says:

    I wonder if the 40 game entitlement program kept CBJ away?

  25. Pescador says:

    SoCaloil:
    I wonder if the 40 game entitlement program kept CBJ away?

    They needed a Center iirc, they crossed their fingers & made the pick.
    Looked at the time that they took the lesser talent, guess we will see

  26. Munny says:

    JDî:
    I think that if Jesse gets in a good workout this summer, something he didn’t have a year ago, he will show much better in training camp.

    Very good point.

  27. Scungilli Slushy says:

    stush18: Damn. Not that it really matters, but he could hav a real shot this yr if he busts out like drai did his second yr playing with mcdavid. I’m not sure the rookie crop will be that explosive this yr.

    One thing we should keep in mind is physical maturity. Leon was more developed at that age, JP is still pretty lanky. The thing that encourages me is how strong his possession numbers are across different comp.

    He wins the puck battle, if he adds good offense to that he will be a player that makes a team win when he’s on the ice. He won’t be flashy or as high scoring as Laine probably, but I see really good two way players as contributing more overall than most one dimensional types.

  28. doritogrande says:

    Is the “Learn To Fly” video the greatest music-video of all time? Why, yes. Yes it is.

    Just wait til LT finds a player for the Foo song “Low”. It’s basically Learn to Fly but also featuring Jack Black.

    Also, I’m not sure how we can confidently say that JP has dominated his peer age group at the WJCs yet, unless we’re talking about the U-18s. He hasn’t played against his comparables at the U-20s yet, partly because this is his 20-year old season, and partly because we wouldn’t loan him for his 19-year old tour. While true that Aho, Laine and himself dominated in their 18-year old year they were playing the softs behind Rantanen’s line.

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