Hey Hey…How goes it BLH? Are you guys enjoying your Sunday? I know that I’m having a Lazy Sunday with the fam jam. Whatever you’re doing, get down with ya bad self, and enjoy the day! It’s freaking cold in Toronto today, but realistically, we don’t have that much longer until we’re all sipping pints on patios…
Now I know that there’s going to be a ton of people who absolutely disagree with my placement of this prospect. Trust me, I was torn myself. But know that there are only 4 prospects ranked higher than him, and only 2 are forwards. I’m sure that you already know who the forwards are, but the other 2 are ranked ahead strictly for the Oilers need on defence.
Check out the other prospects in my top ten below!
So without further adieu, I give you #5:
Jesse Puljujarvi – RW
Karpat (Liiga – Finland)
50GP 13G 15A 28PTS 22PIM 5+/
Ok, first off, if the Oilers didn’t have such a huge, glaring need on the back-end, I’d have Puljujarvi actually ranked 3rd, behind two other forwards. Puljujarvi is a grade “A”, top-end, elite prospect. There’s no doubt about it. Now the only reason that he’s ranked lower than another certain Finnish prospect, is because he is more of a playmaker than a sniper. Honestly, I believe that the Oilers need more finishers at this point. Also, I’ve been reading that he could benefit from learning how to use his size to his advantage. But I also take into account that he’s still only 17, and has been playing against men in Finland’s top league. From what I’ve seen though, he doesn’t exactly shy away from physical play.
So what is it about his game that has so many people stoked? It’s his combination of speed, smarts, and size. Jesse already has a strong two-way game to go along with his great offensive instincts. Offensively he loves too use his massive reach to his advantage, it helps him to keep the puck away from defenders. Another thing that I keep reading about Puljujarvi, is that he has a deadly, accurate, and hard shot, and that he needs to learn to use it more often. But when he does use it, it’s usually causing opposing goalies to have fits. Jesse Puljujarvi is pretty much a complete package, he possesses a strong hockey sense, and an excellent defensive awareness, and mixes that with his elite playmaking ability. His size, and skating ability set him apart from his peers. As it’s hard too find that combination of skills put to good use. There’s really not much to dislike about this kid, he basically has it all. One thing that I really like, is how defensively responsible he is, especially at such a young age. He’s a complete player, as he doesn’t really demonstrate any flaws. Yes, he isn’t as much of a sniper as one would like, but his playmaking abilities are superior. He possesses a high IQ, so he reads the play better than a lot of pro’s. His incredible on-ice vision helps with that. There really isn’t much to not like about this kid…he’s a bonafide elite prospect.
NHL Comparable(s): Jamie Benn, Mats Sundin, and Teemu Selanne
Why would this player be on the Edmonton Oilers Draft List? Well honestly, if this was a “draft the best player available” type of list….Puljujarvi would’ve ranked 3rd. I even thought about possible trade scenarios. But you just don’t trade a top 5 pick and win anymore, right? It’s a lot tougher these days, than previous years. So maybe you draft Jesse, and trade Eberle, RNH or Yak City for help on D? No? And can Puljajurvi step in immediately and make in impact, or does he need time in the minors? Well, for these possibilities, I have 2 defencemen ranked higher in the Draft List. As we all know, our biggest need is the back-end, and I more than believe that the Oilers are now in a position to draft for “needs” and not for “who’s available”. Although there’s two forwards that I just WOULDN’T say no to. If we landed Puljujarvi would I be pissed? OMFG No, he’s a tremendous talent! Would I much rather a defenceman? Does Pinnochio have wooden balls?..
BLH’s Comments: I’m with Kosmic all the way on this one. The Oilers could very well be in a position to draft for organizational need this June. With that said, if they do go ahead and deal Yakupov AND Eberle, they’ll need a RWer and Puljujarvi would be dynamite! Another plus to drafting one of the Finns is that they can be sent to the AHL no problem. But a playmaker this team doesn’t need.
Well ladies and gents, it’s been a slice y’all!! See you on that dreaded “M” day…stay trippy and weird my friends…it’s the best!!!
Follow me on Twitter @kosmicburrito