There was a time, not long ago, when Jesse Puljujarvi would have made the Edmonton Oilers’ Opening Day roster off a game like this one. A goal roofed off a lucky bounce behind the Winnipeg Jets net, another when the rebound of his shot was batted into the Jets goal by a defender’s arm, and an assist on a Connor McDavid solo effort. A three-point night for the No. 4 overall draft pick of 2016 is surely welcome, but thankfully on this Oilers club, no one is telling Puljujarvi to go buy a house in town. “This sport is all about confidence,” Puljujarvi said post-game to Finnish journalist Jouni Nieminen, who provided translated quotes. “It’s been hard at times. Last season I had some tough times. But I think little by little, if I work hard every day, there is is a reward for all that in the end.” Puljujarvi grew up in northern Finland, where English is rarely spoken. So unlike the Helsinki kids he did not study English in school, and arrived in North America a year ago with very little understanding of our language.
Oilers finally good enough to admit Puljujarvi’s game isn’t quite ready
Sportsnet | Sep 24