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Jesse Puljujärvi
Jesse-Puljujärvi (cropped).jpg
Puljujärvi with Finland in 2016
Born May 7, 1998 (1998-05-07) (age 23)
Älvkarleby, Sweden
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)
Position Right wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Edmonton Oilers
Oulun Kärpät
National team Flag of Finland.svg Finland
NHL Draft 4th overall, 2016
Edmonton Oilers
Playing career 2014–present

Jesse Puljujärvi ( yes-Ə-_-POO-lee-AR-vee born May 7, 1998) is a Swedish-born Finnish professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Edmonton Oilers in the National Hockey League (NHL). Rated as a top prospect, Puljujärvi was drafted fourth overall by the Oilers in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing career

Kärpät

Puljujärvi played in the 2011 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with the Finland Selects youth team.

Puljujärvi began his hockey career and Fin-Jr. league debut in 2013–14 with the Kärpät Jr. hockey team. In the two seasons he participated in, Puljujärvi recorded 23 points in 18 games and 18 points in 11 games.

Puljujärvi made his Liiga debut playing with Kärpät during the 2014–15 Liiga season. Leading up the NHL draft, he was ranked as the number three European skater. He was described as a big, mobile, skilled, an all-around winger who can score and pass.

Puljujärvi was sent down mid-season and made his Mestis debut in 2014–15 with Kärpät affiliate Kajaanin Hokki. He finished the season with 13 points in 15 games. During the season, Puljujärvi was considered good enough again, that he was sent to the Kärpät hockey team to continue his career there. Kärpät would be his final team before he would be drafted into the NHL.

In 2015–16, his first full season with Kärpät, Puljujärvi played in 50 Liiga games, scoring 28 points (13 goals and 15 assists), as well as in ten playoff games with four goals and five assists. He also competed in the Champions Hockey League (CHL) with the club, recording 2 assists in 13 games but remained goalless.

Puljujärvi would then leave the team and European hockey altogether, as he would be drafted into the NHL as the fourth overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers.

Edmonton Oilers

Puljujärvi signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers on 13 July 2016. He opted to wear sweater #98 with the team, making him the first NHL player to do so since 1985, when Brian Lawton wore the number in a regular season game. After making the Oilers opening night roster for the 2016–17 season, he made his NHL debut on opening night with the Oilers in which he scored his first career NHL goal on 12 October 2016.

After just 28 games, Puljujärvi was sent down to the Oilers' American Hockey League (AHL), the affiliate Bakersfield Condors, for more development time. During his tenure at the AHL, Puljujärvi scored 12 goals and 16 assists in 39 games.

Puljujärvi returned to the Oilers in the 2016–17 NHL season but ultimately bounced between the NHL and AHL squads. On 20 January 2018, Puljujärvi registered a career-high three-point game, recording one goal and two assists against the Vancouver Canucks. This would also mark the first time Puljujärvi received a first star for a game.

He returned to Oulun Kärpät in August 2019, signing an initial one-year contract, though the Edmonton Oilers would maintain to hold his NHL rights.

On 7 October 2020, after a year of holding out from the Oilers organization, Puljujärvi was signed to a two-year, $2.35 million contract with the Oilers. He remained with Kärpät on loan until the commencement of the delayed 2020–21 NHL season. He has shown great Defensive play and been an elite forechecker using his long stick to hound pucks, Although its still early he appears to be the next Mark Stone.

International play

Medal record
Competitor for  Finland
Men's ice hockey
IIHF World U18 Championship
Silver 2015 Switzerland
Gold 2016 United States
World Junior Championship
Gold 2016 Finland

Puljujärvi helped team Finland win silver medal at the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championships in Switzerland.

Puljujärvi played for Finland at the 2016 World Junior Championships, where they won gold on 5 January 2016. In seven games, he scored 5 goals and 12 assists for 17 points, placing him second in all-time points for an under-18 player behind only Jaromír Jágr, and tying Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros. He was subsequently declared Best Forward and Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Later that year, Puljujärvi was also a part of the national team at the 2016 World U18 Championships, winning another gold medal, becoming the first and so far the only European player to win a U20 and U18 gold medal in the same year.

Personal life

Puljujärvi was born to Finnish parents in Sweden and lived there until he was four, though culturally, he identifies as Finnish. He holds both Finnish and Swedish citizenship. In his free time, he also likes playing ice hockey with neighbourhood kids.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2013–14 Oulun Kärpät Jr. A 18 12 11 23 4 12 7 0 7 2
2014–15 Oulun Kärpät Jr. A 11 12 6 18 10 5 2 1 3 4
2014–15 Oulun Kärpät Liiga 21 4 7 11 10
2014–15 Hokki Mestis 15 8 5 13 8 3 0 1 1 0
2015–16 Oulun Kärpät Liiga 50 13 15 28 22 9 3 4 7 2
2016–17 Edmonton Oilers NHL 28 1 7 8 10
2016–17 Bakersfield Condors AHL 39 12 16 28 10
2017–18 Bakersfield Condors AHL 10 1 4 5 4
2017–18 Edmonton Oilers NHL 65 12 8 20 14
2018–19 Edmonton Oilers NHL 46 4 5 9 16
2018–19 Bakersfield Condors AHL 4 2 2 4 7
2019–20 Oulun Kärpät Liiga 56 24 29 53 52
2020–21 Oulun Kärpät Liiga 16 7 5 12 43
2020–21 Edmonton Oilers NHL 55 15 10 25 16 4 1 1 2 0
Liiga totals 143 48 56 104 127 10 4 5 9 2
NHL totals 194 32 30 62 56 4 1 1 2 0

International

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2014 Finland IH18 5th 4 3 2 5 4
2015 Finland WJC18 2 7 2 5 7 4
2015 Finland WJC 7th 5 0 0 0 0
2016 Finland WJC18 1 4 5 2 7 2
2016 Finland WJC 1 7 5 12 17 0
2017 Finland WC 4th 8 0 0 0 4
Junior totals 27 15 21 36 10

Awards and honors

Award Year
International
IIHF World U18 Championship silver medal 2015
IIHF World U18 Championship gold medal 2016
IIHF World U18 Championship All-Star Team 2016
IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal 2016
IIHF World Junior Championship All-Star Team 2016
IIHF World Junior Championship Best Forward 2016
IIHF World Junior Championship Most Valuable Player 2016
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