Bob McKenzie on Jesse Puljujarvi Being Sent to the AHL for a Second Consecutive Season

Below is a clip from Bob McKenzie’s Bobcast (his bi-monthly podcast) and in it he’s asked a question about the Oilers’ Jesse Puljujarvi and the Blue Jackets’ Pierre-Luc Dubois.

As we know, Columbus passed over Puljujarvi to select Dubois 3rd overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and this was a YUGE shock to many in the hockey world for the obvious reasons, Puljujarvi is from Finland, Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is also from Finland… But as it was told after the draft, Columbus was after a big centre and thus Dubois became a member of the Columbus organization.

Now, last night Jesse Puljujarvi got his first point of the year for the Bakersfield Condors and PL Dubois scored his first NHL goal for Columbus but there are already some CBJ fans out there taking this opportunity to get on Puljujarvi’s case… Savages they are!

I can’t really say who’ll be the better player between Dubois and Puljujarvi. I like the Finn if I’m being honest. I think that Dubois looks a bit like RJ Umberger and there’s nothing wrong with that because he had a great career but Umberger never really appealed to me as a player. On the other hand, I have different fingers… No! I mean, On the other hand, Puljujarvi’s skating, attention to the defensive side of the puck, his shot, it’s all very distinctly his and I can’t really put a comparison to him. Maybe Sasha Barkov?…

On the other hand, I have different fingers… (A little Steven Wright for you there)

No! I mean, On the other hand, Puljujarvi’s skating, attention to the defensive side of the puck, his shot, it’s all very distinctly his and I can’t really put a comparison to him. Maybe Sasha Barkov?… Long term, he’ll be the better player IF he can gain the trust of the coaching staff and add to that some perfect English (I’m being sarcastic with the language comment FYI).

Anyways, Please take a listen, it’s only about two and a half minutes and then carry on below to get my thoughts on the subject. Just a warning, this is audio only. The visuals are basically random Oilers pics I have on the computer and t-shirts from our Teepublic Shop.

If you could. Please subscribe to our channel! You won’t regret it!

McKenzie says he was expecting Puljujarvi to come over and be an everyday player for the Oilers and was surprised when he wasn’t.

I had a feeling that Puljujarvi would take some time as when I’d done my research on him for the draft I thought that the spotlight really shone on him during the Karpat/Tappara playoff series where he and Laine when head-to-head. Ultimately, Laine’s team won and moved on.

Also, a lot of what I was seeing last season during Puljujarvi’s time with the Oilers reminded me of Leon Draisaitl’s first year and also with how Kailer Yamamoto is dealing with the new aspects of the NHL. That said, Pulju can play in the NHL just due to his massive frame and he has a team that’ll take care of him on the ice whereas Yamamoto isn’t quite there yet physically and Draisaitl came in at the tail-end of the DoD when nobody was sticking up for each other.

But if you’d have watched the World Juniors that year you would’ve thought that the Oilers were getting the next Teemu Selanne because he was destroying his peers but little do you know, that’s what he does. Once Puljujarvi is on the same page as everybody else, it’s go time. Watch this year as he plays in the AHL. He’s going to be a PPG or more player.

“Here’s the bottom line with 19-year-olds in the National Hockey League, It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Bob McKenzie

McKenzie goes on to say that the real testament regarding these players ultimately comes 2-3 years down the road and that’s when we’ll make the determination.

I’m with him on this one, gone are the days of the Edmonton Oilers feeling the need to rush a teenager into the lineup, right? Or will that continue due to the constraints of having some big tickets on their payroll?… I don’t think so but I’ve also been of the belief that unless a player is as good as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews, he should be sent back to junior or his European club or NCAA for at least one more year.

Check out Puljujarvi’s assist from last night. What poise and control. The confidence oozed on this play. He’ll be back up in an Oilers jersey sooner than later. Book it!

Grab a Grinning Finn tee by clicking on the pic!!
Welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to the NHL in style! Click the image above to pick up this sweet t-shirt!
Click the image to purchase this tribute to Milan Lucic!
Pick up this sweet tee and let the whole world know how much you love hockey’s favorite cheat!
Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!