So, Jesse Puljujarvi is back in Bakersfield. That’s where he should be. As one NHL pro scout said recently about the 19-year-old Finnish winger; “He has to go down and dominate in the American League first before he can be a top six forward in Edmonton.” Truth is, Puljujarvi got beat out by another teenager Kailer Yamamoto for a right-wing spot because he’s more versatile. Puljujarvi’s got tools at six-foot-four and 205 pounds. He can shoot and he can skate, but there is more reacting to plays than initiating, and again, they want to see the youngster light it up in the AHL. He might only be there for a few weeks — Leon Draisaitl only played six games in 2015 when sent to the AHL. Or maybe he’ll be in Bakersfield until the Oilers decide if Yamamoto is a keeper past the nine-game mark when the first year of his entry-level contract would kick in. Puljujarvi, at this time, isn’t as smart a player as Yamamoto. He needs to think the game better. Puljujarvi played 39 games on the farm last season after starting with the Oilers and scoring in the opening game against Calgary. He had 28 points, 12 goals but only seven even-strength. They want to see him use his big frame more along the wall to fight for pucks, and not fish for them. He was used to having the puck a lot in Finland but that’s not the case in North America.
Oilers send Puljujarvi to minors, wave Fayne
Edmonton Sun | Oct 2