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Former Oilers F Puljujarvi eyeing NHL return as soon as November

Jesse Puljujarvi Hurricanes Jesse Puljujarvi - National Hockey League

Jesse Puljujarvi is eyeing an NHL return as soon as next month as he continues to recover from double hip surgery in the off-season, TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston reports.

Puljujarvi, who was selected fourth overall in 2016, is an unrestricted free agent after going unqualified by the Carolina Hurricanes in June.

"The rehab process has been very encouraging for Jesse Puljujarvi, so well in fact that he may be ready to return to the NHL as soon as next month," Johnston said on Insider Trading Thursday. "And so when it was revealed he would need that double hip surgery in the offseason, he didn't receive a qualifying offer from the Carolina Hurricanes and so he is an unrestricted free agent.

"He's back in Finland now, he's resumed skating, said to be feeling strong and he's looking for a new deal, perhaps a low risk option, low cost option for a team to bring in during the season."

The Hurricanes acquired the 25-year-old forward at the trade deadline in February in a deal with the Edmonton Oilers for Finnish winger Patrik Puistola.

Puljujarvi appeared in 17 games for the 'Canes, notching two assists. He added an assist in seven playoff games.

Over five-plus seasons with the Oilers, Puljujarvi appeared in 317 games, with his best goals output coming in 2020-2021 with 15.

For his career, Puljujarvi has 51 goals and 63 assists in 334 games.