Edmonton Oilers: The Bison King

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Jesse Puljujärvi is the most polarizing player the Oilers have had in God knows how long. There seem to be no neutral opinions on a player who seems genuine and likable. Puljujärvi, who was setting the world on fire in the 2021 half of last season, had a pretty rough 2022 half, battling Covid and a lower-body injury. So today, I’m going to tell you why Jesse Puljujärvi will be key to the Oiler’s success.

While there are no official stats to back me up on this, I’m sure if you were to ask 10 Oilers fans how they feel about Puljujärvi’s game, you would get a split decision. Why? The biggest complaint surrounding Jesse is his scoring. He is always in the right spots but never capitalizing on the opportunities he gets. Puljujärvi’s shooting percentage in the 21/22 season was 8.8%. The year before that, 13%, and his career average is 9.1%. So, what does that mean? Well, with the league average sitting around 9.8%, Jesse will be fine. He’s more than fine. He’s trending upwards offensively, and the goals will follow as long as he stays in the right spots.

Do you know what I really like about Puljujärvi? His value. He is getting paid 3 million for this upcoming season. So, instead of paying former Oiler Zach Kassian 3.2 million for his services, the team will pay less than that to someone who can do it all. Don’t believe me? Jesse was the only Oilers forward to receive a Selke (award for the league’s best defensive forward) vote last year. He always seems to be breaking up plays and having his body in the right areas to slow down the opposition.

Along with his strong defensive game, Jesse put up 36 points, 14 goals, and 22 assists in just 36 games. There is still so much room for Jesse’s game to grow, with his finishing at the top of the list. I think even he would agree with that. If I were to set the bar for Puljujärvi this season, I would hope for him to finish with around 20 goals and 50 points.,

PHOTO CREDIT: PERRY NELSON-USA TODAY SPORTS

I have watched the Oilers a long time, and I’m sure you have, too, probably even longer than I have. Over the last ten or so years, there has been a revolving door of players. A lot of players that I was not too fond of, and some, I loved. There have not been many players I have wanted to see succeed more than #13 Jesse Puljujärvi. It’s not just his contagious energy or watching him stick his tongue out every game. I have so much fun watching him play, and I don’t think the level of fun I reach watching is even close to the joy he has on the ice. It is much better to watch players who enjoy playing than players who do not; it is infectious. I hope that one day even the biggest of Jesse haters (yes, I am looking at all of you Edmonton Media) catches the Bison King fever.

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The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at www.insidetherink.com for all your latest hockey news.
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