Jesse Puljujarvi has become known around Edmonton for a mile-wide smile and a puppy-dog gait that takes him, often aimlessly, around a National Hockey League he simply has not been able to master.
What Puljujarvi, the fourth-overall draft pick in 2016, hasn’t become known for is a player who creates scoring chances, or buries those created by others.
“I haven’t played a lot with the puck. So far I haven’t had pretty much any offence in my game,” he admits of a career that has yielded 17 goals in 129 games.
“I don’t get scoring chances very often.”
Outwardly happy, the 20-year-old Finn sounds like he is hollowing out inside, his NHL experience souring in an organization that is, in our opinion, badly mishandling the big right-winger.
In a lengthy interview with Finnish correspondent — and good friend of mine — Tommi Seppala, conducted after Wednesday night’s 3-2 shootout win in Vancouver, Puljujarvi sounded like a lost soul, devoid of any of the confidence he showed while earning the title of MVP at the 2016 World Junior Championship.