Puljujarvi could see time in the AHL, says Chiarelli

Jesse Puljujarvi has been a healthy scratch the last two games for the Edmonton Oilers. The right winger may play tonight against Columbus, but an assignment to Bakersfield is not out of the question down the line.

“He’s shown he can play at this level. He hasn’t played lately,” Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli told reporters this morning. “It’s not ideal to have an 18-year-old not playing every game. He may see some time in the [AHL]. We’ll see how it goes.”

Chiarelli added that Puljujarvi would not be loaned to Finland for the upcoming World Juniors.

The fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, Puljujarvi has one goal and seven assists in 22 games. His possession numbers are solid, and he’s a plus-5. But head coach Todd McLellan has been loath to hand him much ice time lately, if he’s been in the lineup at all.

“This is an age-old dilemma,” said Chiarelli. “You have to balance the development at playing eight minutes (in the NHL) versus 15 minutes or 20 minutes somewhere else. So I’ve had extensive discussions with the coaching staff. We’re all on the same page on this. … But I’m happy with his development. It would be ideal if he was playing every game, but he’s not.”

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