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Jesse Puljujarvi Signs AHL PTO, Eyes NHL Return

Former Oilers and Hurricanes forward Jesse Puljujarvi has signed an AHL PTO with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Former 4th overall NHL draft pick, Jesse Puljujarvi, is set to make a bid for an NHL comeback by signing a professional tryout (PTO) contract with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the PTO provides Puljujarvi with a low-risk opportunity to showcase his skills in the AHL. The ultimate goal is to earn a shot in the NHL again, then eventually a high-reward NHL contract.

The decision to bring Puljujarvi into the fold was confirmed by Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas. Dubas noted in a recent radio interview with team broadcaster Josh Getzoff. Meanwhile, Puljujarvi said, “My feeling is good.” He added, “I can play nice hockey. I can bring a lot of things. Help the guys forechecking. I think I can make good plays and be hard to play (against).”

Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto, also affirmed the move, expressing optimism about the forward’s chance to impress at the AHL level.

An AHL PTO a Far Cry From Where Puljujarvi Was Drafted by The Oilers

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced the signing, highlighting Puljujarvi’s extensive NHL experience with 334 games played for the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes. That said, this is not the same player that was drafted fourth overall. The 25-year-old forward was a highly-touted prospect in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, but he’s steadily fallen thanks to on-ice struggles and numerous injuries.

He brings a mix of goal-scoring prowess and playmaking abilities to the AHL squad, but at this point in his career, there’s no guarantee he makes it back to the NHL. Having last played in the AHL during the 2018-19 season with the Bakersfield Condors, Puljujarvi aims to rekindle his form. The hope is that he can contribute and give the Penguins something to think about.

Jesse Puljujarvi Edmonton Oilers NHL waivers
Jesse Puljujarvi Edmonton Oilers NHL waivers

There is hope here. Puljujarvi’s standout performance at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships, where he led Finland to a gold medal, earning the Most Valuable Player title. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 201 pounds, Puljujarvi’s physical presence and skill set make him a notable prospect for the Penguins. He just needs to stay healthy and find a role.

After entering the offseason as a pending restricted free agent, Puljujarvi became an unrestricted free agent when the Hurricanes declined to extend a qualifying offer. Now, with the PTO, Puljujarvi has a platform to prove his capabilities and potentially secure a spot in the NHL once again.

Next: Oilers Remove Dylan Holloway from LTIR, Send to AHL as Center

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  1. Pingback: Jesse Puljujarvi Signs AHL PTO, Eyes NHL Return Its Playoff Hockey Fantasy Hockey News – Its Playoff Hockey

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