Oilers have a decision to make with Jesse Puljujarvi


It may soon be time for the Edmonton Oilers to send Jesse Puljujarvi to the AHL.

Puljujarvi, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft, logged just 9:14 of ice time in last night’s 3-1 loss to Columbus. He finished with no shots and a team-worst Corsi of 23 percent at even strength. The 18-year-old winger also took a holding penalty in the first period, which the Blue Jackets turned into a power-play goal.

Frankly, there were times when he looked a little lost out there.

Granted, he was hardly the only Oiler who struggled against the NHL’s hottest team. It was not a good night for veteran wingers Benoit Pouliot or Jordan Eberle either.

But Puljujarvi has only played seven games since the start of December. He only has one goal in 27 games, and he clearly hasn’t earned the trust of head coach Todd McLellan.


A few weeks ago, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said sending Puljujarvi to the AHL was, indeed, a possibility.

“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.”

The Oilers have three games left on their road trip — Thursday in Boston, Saturday in New Jersey, and Sunday in Ottawa.

At practice this morning, Puljujarvi skated on the fourth line with Anton Lander and Mark Letestu.