Holland updates statuses of McDavid and Puljujarvi
Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday he will not force a trade to move restricted free agent Jesse Puljujarvi and added he is prepared to hold onto the 21-year-old's rights this season.
Puljujarvi stated his desire for a fresh start away from the Oilers this summer and signed a one-year contract with Finnish club Oulun Karpat last month. The deal with Karpat includes an NHL opt-out clause until December 1.
“I believe there are teams out there that are interested,” Holland said, per the Edmonton Journal. “Obviously, I didn’t get anything that I felt that was worth pushing to the final stages and getting a deal done.
“You get into late August and everything kind of goes quiet and now you have prospects tournaments all over the league, so it’s gone quiet. We’ll see, I’m not going to force something. If it’s there, I’ll explore it, if it’s not there I’m prepared to sit.”
Puljujarvi has two goals and four points in four games since joining Karpat, leading the team to a 3-1 start in the Champions Hockey League.
The 2016 fourth overall pick has struggled to carve out a permanent role on the NHL roster with the Oilers since making the leap to the NHL three years ago. His most recent season ended with surgery on both hips in early March. He had four goals and nine points in 46 games before going under the knife.
In 139 NHL games, Puljujarvi has 17 goals and 37 points.