2016 fourth overall pick Jesse Puljujarvi is back with the Edmonton Oilers. The club announced on Wednesday that they have signed Puljujarvi to a two-year contract that runs through the 2021-22 season. Puljujarvi has also been loaned to Karpat of the SM-Liiga in Finland for the start of the 2020-21 season.
Puljujarvi, who requested a trade out of Edmonton in February of 2019, spent the 2019-20 season in Finland with Karpat. He scored 53 points (24 g, 29 a) in 56 games, good for tops on Karpat and fourth in the league.
Puljujarvi last played for the Oilers during the 2018-19 season, skating in 46 games and scoring nine points (4 g, 5 a). Overall, Puljujarvi has 37 points (17 g, 20 a) in 139 career NHL games spread over three seasons.
Puljujarvi has also suited up in 53 games with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. There, the Finnish forward scored 37 points (15 g, 22 a).
Puljujarvi is likely to start in a third line role under head coach Dave Tippett. A two-way forward with size, awareness and some skill, Puljujarvi gives the Oilers bottom-six a much needed jolt.
GM Ken Holland, along with Tippett, spent the spring and summer talking with Puljujarvi and his agent, Markus Lehto. The sides met multiple times via video conference, including in July right before the Oilers went into the playoff bubble.
Sources say the sides met on both Monday and Tuesday, remotely, to push this contract over the finish line.
The Oilers are in the market for a veteran third line center to pair with Puljujarvi. Sources indicate that fellow Finn Erik Haula is on the club’s radar.
Puljujarvi’s new contract will carry an AAV of $1,175,000.