Draisaitl on Puljujarvi: ‘Seems like He Doesn’t Want to Be on Our Team’

TORONTO — Leon Draisaitl says he would welcome disgruntled winger Jesse Puljujarvi back into the Edmonton Oilers’ fold.

Puljujarvi has made it clear he wants to be traded to another NHL team. The restricted free agent signed a deal for the upcoming season with a Finnish club earlier this week that includes an opt-out clause until Dec. 1.

The No. 4 pick at the 2016 NHL draft, Puljujarvi underwent surgery on both hips in March after putting up just four goals and five assists in 46 games in 2018-19.

The 21-year-old has registered 17 goals and 37 points in 139 games in parts of three seasons with the Oilers. He’s added 15 goals and 37 points in 53 contests with Edmonton’s American Hockey League affiliate.

Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi
Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

But while the 21-year-old Puljujarvi wants out of the Alberta capital, Draisaitl — who scored 50 goals and 105 points last season — said he hopes the door hasn’t been slammed shut.

“You want guys to pan out and you want guys to help you on your team,” Draisaitl said Wednesday at the annual BioSteel camp. “It seems like he doesn’t want to be on our team as of right now … maybe that changes.”

Choosing his words carefully, the star forward added he didn’t get the sense Puljujarvi was unhappy in Edmonton.

“He’s a young guy that obviously doesn’t feel like he wants to play for us anymore,” Draisaitl said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press