Former Edmonton Oilers forward and fan favorite Jesse Puljujarvi signed a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday afternoon. He’ll be making 800k between now and the end of the 2025 season.
Nicknamed the Bison King, Puljujarvi was selected 4th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. He played in 317 games for the Oilers, putting up 112 points. He also had 5 points in 20 Playoff games with Edmonton. His most memorable of those points was in Game 5 of Round 2 against the Calgary Flames in 2022. In a back-and-forth game that ended with a 5-4 OT result, he scored a 2-2 tying goal off a 3v1 rush midway through the second period. Before this signing was announced, he played 13 games for Pittsburgh’s AHL team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In that stint, he put up 9 points. A 6’4”, 201 lbs. forward who plays a solid forechecking, defensive game. Unfortunately, his inability to produce much offense may sometimes overshadow those strong attributes. Being plagued by multiple hip surgeries has also put a damper on his effectiveness. This critique is eerily similar to current Oilers forward Connor Brown, who I previously covered in another article just two weeks ago.
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I really liked this player when he was in Edmonton. I was in the half of the Oilers fan base that liked him, while it felt some members of Oilers media tried to run him out of town. I’m thrilled for JP to get this opportunity. Watching him share the ice with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Erik Karlsson will be an interesting way to get his NHL career back on track.