Will Jesse Puljujärvi pay for his junior years in the NHL with interest? According to the expert, the Finnish shipyard is already in a hurry to learn new things

Jesse Puljujarvi was rudely thrown into a blanket at

of Edmonton Jesse to Puljujärvi the NHL season that has started has been difficult so far. There are nine matches behind, in which Edmonton’s Finnish winger has managed to collect only one power point. It was a goal against Pittsburgh.

Five-on-five, Puljujärvi has been on the ice during one shot by the Oilers and six shots against it.

Of course, at the same time, Puljujärvi’s work ethic is probably nothing to point out. Puljujärvi, representing Edmonton for the sixth season, has a commendable amount of work and a good level of physical presence.

However, the album in this respect is badly stuck in its place.

In the case of Puljujärvi, he hasn’t been able to get excited about just working in Alberta for a long time. When the natural child who sought speed in Finland after a difficult rookie contract period returned to Edmonton two years ago, there was a lot of positivity in the air: Puljujärvi had managed to develop his overall playing along with his physicality.

In the bubble conditions of spring 2021, Jesse Puljujärvi was seen hungry, determined and bursting with game joy after his 31st goal in Kärpi. The foot moved and the game had the right kind of relaxation and intrigue – and most importantly, Puljujärvi’s finishing had an unprecedented edge at the NHL level.

Puljujärvi sniffed the empty spaces and elegantly knocked one-timers from the passes of the star players into the nets. 15 goals in the return season was a good performance.

Puljujärvi also had its moment last fall, but towards spring, the weather started to have the familiar negative aura from previous years. Puljujärvi got into the eye of a storm of criticism both in the media and among fans, because after a good start, he couldn’t get a result even next to the superstars. The trademark smile started to freeze and the racket got a too tight squeeze.

With hard work and tackling, the Finnish gambler wanted to show that he was worthy of trust, but did the intrigue and relaxation disappear from the game?

After last season, Puljujärvi’s name has been around a lot in transfer rumors. The player trade still can’t be ruled out, even though an extension worth one year and three million dollars was signed in the summer.

Puljujärvi’s playing seems to drift into a constantly worse backlog. Sports expert Ismo Lehkonen commented on three points about the situation in Puljujärvi.

1) Puck playing forcing

Puljujärvi is currently a triple chain player and at a sort of crossroads in his NHL career. There is some level of identity crisis at hand. The player considers himself to be the solution player of the result unit, but since the gunpowder got wet, the responsibility has decreased.

This can be seen in Puljujärvi as a delay due to excessive thinking, and on the other hand even as hosumi, because the desire to succeed goes through the roof of the arena.

Puljujärvi’s puck play is limping right now because it lacks the necessary relaxation and sharpness that was seen in the spring 2021 bubble games. Hockey is much more than scoring goals, but in the case of Puljujärvi and Edmonton, the situation has escalated to a point where only statistics seem to matter.

– I tend to think that there are many other things in this game that help to win, but Jesse’s status is now only determined by points, says Lehkonen.

Puljujärvi’s situation was not helped by the raiku boy Evander Kane joining in the middle of last season. Kane is known to be somewhat of a problem case, but in the rink the game started to flow immediately. It calmed the commotion around him, but pulled Puljujärvi down at the same time.

Kane succeeded in exactly what Puljujärvi had failed to do: to score Connor McDavid’s alongside. Criticism towards Puljujärvi grew exponentially after Kane’s arrival.

– Kane immediately got a peace of mind because he started hitting the puck in the bag. That’s what many hope from Jesse as well, Lehkonen states.

Puljujärvi is not playing with particularly good confidence right now, which can be seen in careless decisions with the puck. Sometimes he makes plays where there are none, sometimes carelessness leads to the game turning towards his own goal.

Against Calgary on the weekend, Puljujärvi seemed to be in too much of a hurry again. At the beginning of the second period, he gave up after getting the puck in the offensive zone for no reason and passed to a space where there is no one. Calgary got the puck easily and quickly turned the game towards Edmonton’s end.

In the same period, a little later, Puljujärvi passed from the corner in front of the goal to nobody and again Calgary converted.

Puljujärvi has modified his playing in a more comprehensive direction in order to make a breakthrough in the NHL, but has the player self been modified too much? Jesse Puljujärvi is a better player than it seems right now – pain and merciless external pressure seem to have only driven him into a tight gap.

– What image of themselves does anyone want to bring to the table? You always have to find ways and means to get the coach’s trust. On the other hand, if you start playing too much according to the coach’s will, there will easily be compulsion and delay. It takes a hard head to process the challenge so that you can play relaxed, Lehkonen reflects.

Puljujärvi seems to be in a merciless pressure cooker in the tough Edmonton market.

– The burden on Jesse is insanely heavy and there are many players in the same situation in that league. It has the press of media and fans. Then you should be able to make a lot of changes to your game, develop constantly, play a lot, make results, travel and recover from everything. That requires a shocking amount of thinking, Lehkonen reminds.

2 ) Relaxation and sharpness in painting

The pressure is intense, but that’s why the players, on the other hand, enjoy millions of dollars in salary income. Puljujärvi needs to find a new gear for his playing or his entire NHL career may be at stake in the near future. It could be found, for example, through a sharper finish.

Puljujärvi constantly gets to the goal posts, but the puck doesn’t seem to sink in. The team’s Finnish winger was already at the top of his team’s goalscoring statistics last season and is there again – four top spots per hour played is the Oilers’ fourth highest quote.

Last season, however, the shooting percentage remained at eight, and now it is only seven. For example, the best Finnish rifles operate with 15-19 percent hams. The difference is huge.

Against Calgary, Puljujärvi was offered a top spot at the back post right at the beginning, but the hit was missed. In the same game, in the second period, the puck was played to him in the best scoring sector, but the shot missed completely. In the Pittsburgh game

Puljujärvi spectacularly managed one goal, but could have scored a couple more.

In Puljujärvi’s dry season, there is certainly pain and pressure brought by a difficult period, but in the same breath it is probably fair to say that the efficiency of scoring in the long run is not up to chance.

– The puck tends to go in the bag better if you do an insane amount of work for it. Teemu Selänne told well in his time how he studied goalkeepers and other things. Young players should practice this whenever there is a place. Sometimes easy repetitions, sometimes more difficult. Repetitions bring self-confidence to any matter, Lehkonen underlines.

– This is my instruction for all young people: repetitions, repetitions, repetitions.

Puljujärvi’s situation has always become more difficult when power has not been created. The ice time has shrunk so much that the average ice time of the last four games does not even exceed 12 minutes.

The less you play, the harder it is to get into a rhythm. In Ylivoima, Puljujärvi has also not been seen much, which also limits the possibilities.

And the coaching, on the other hand, doesn’t trust Puljujärvi even with understrength. The Finn could get more minutes through under-strength responsibility, but Puljujärvi does not profile as a defensive specialist – this has been the opinion of four different Oilers coaches.

– In the underpowered game, there is a big requirement in terms of how to prepare, come into your own, create pressure there and so on. It’s insane foot and club work, hard pumping. Maybe here, in Jesse’s case, we’ll also go back to the past, how things used to get together. It’s been given to the player to move here and there, Lehkonen points out.

– Now Jesse is really in a real hurry to study these things so incredibly that they start to come naturally in the game.

3) Is there a player shop ahead?

In the midst of everything, the most important question for Jesse Puljujärvi is what kind of player will he profile in the NHL world: a solution player or a workhorse in the bottom chain?

– He himself believes in the top chain, we can’t get away from that. With those tools, sports skills, physics, skating and strength, I see that now he just has to push himself up there to the top chains. It’s about how his corner can withstand the wear and tear in that tough world, says Lehkonen.

It is also appropriate to ask if there is already too much slag between Edmonton and Puljujärvi. A player trade elsewhere might release the player from pressure and give a new boost to his career.

– Edmonton is a typical Canadian city, where these things move, and in Jesse’s case, they only accelerate. Jesse knows that his name is out there, but as long as he represents the Oilers, he has to be able to bring out his own good things. If there’s a change of scenery, then you have to be ready right away, Lehkonen reminds.

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