For Jesse Puljujarvi, the NHL story (“Power outage under the Big Top!”) is a breath of fresh air and abundant good news. However, the big Finn is four games into his AHL season and has zero goals plus two assists. AHL phenoms need to force the issue with gaudy boxcars, brilliant performances and gushing prose from the minor league coach to Oilers headquarters. JP hasn’t moved the needle, and that may well be an opportunity missed. Then again, Leon Draisaitl went 6gp, 1-1-2 before receiving the call and laying waste to the Habs one Halloween night not so long ago.
- The Oilers are eventually going to need a skill center for Puljujarvi, maybe that skill center is in the NHL currently and the Finn will join the big club.
- Josh Currie is a solid two-way center in the AHL—22 goals a year ago—but there’s a big gap between his offensive ability and Anton Lander.
- Joe Gambardella had a nice run in the spring with Bakersfield, but didn’t put in a strong showing at Oilers training camp. He seems to be turning the corner on his season now.
- Chad Butcher is an AHL-only contract but he did great work in training camp and posted his first pro goal last night.
- Nick Ellis continues to build his resume, a strong showing last night and he’ll play again this evening.
If the Edmonton Oilers are casting an eye toward Bakersfield, and wondering who can help them right now, I would think Jesse Puljujarvi is an obvious place to start. The boxcars are not strong, but the same could be said of Leon Draisaitl a couple of years ago and he really helped the Oilers. I don’t think JP is Leon offensively, but he might be able to help.