Jesse Puljujarvi and the Oilers are getting reacquainted. The 6’4” Finnish forward is practicing with the team for the first time since February 2018 and his teammates are getting a fresh reminder.
“He’s huge...He’s the biggest guy on the ice,” said defenceman Darnell Nurse.
Head Coach Dave Tippett is getting his first look at the Oilers’ fourth overall draft pick in 2016.
“I love that he’s smiling. He looks like he loves to play, and high skill for a big man,” Tippett remarked on the 22-year-old.
Puljujarvi is back for a second run with the Oilers after his first stint ended with a trade request after the 2018-19 season. He returned to Finland where he finished fourth overall in scoring in the Finnish Elite League last season.
“My strength, how I can protect puck. That’s one thing for sure helps on the small ice for sure. Confidence with the puck,” Puljujarvi said on the improvements in his game.
Oilers GM Ken Holland and Dave Tippett helped open the door for Puljujarvi’s return. He’s been working hard on his English-speaking skills, which are much improved, and is reestablishing relationships with teammates that were here when he made that trade request.
“There’s not any problems. It’s been really fun. I give some jokes and they ask me many questions. There’s a good feeling,” Puljujarvi said following Tuesday’s practice.
The winger scored a goal in Thursday’s scrimmage and is earning rave reviews from his teammates in training camp.
“You see him out there. He’s got all the tools and the right attitude. So, it’s exciting I think for everyone to see Jesse back,” said defenceman Darnell Nurse.