Dreger: Too soon to say with Puljujarvi, Oilers

Life ain’t easy for a developing hockey player in a Canadian market.

Jesse Puljujarvi’s minutes and healthy scratches have been under the microscope all season in Edmonton, and the fourth overall pick from 2016 was slated to begin Thursday evening’s game against the Florida Panthers on the fourth line.

During a Thursday segment on TSN’s Insider Trading, Darren Dreger was asked where things stood these days with a situation that has seen a slightly increasing level of tension as the season has gone on.  

“Well, there’s more tension,” noted Dreger. “Frankly, that’s based on the fact that once again Jesse Puljujarvi has dropped in the lineup. He’s still in the lineup, perhaps he drops out of the lineup. There’s some media speculation that Jesse Puljujarvi might be assigned to the American Hockey League and Bakersfield, and if so that could in fact be a breaking point for a player who just wants to develop in his own way in the National Hockey League.

“But at this point it’s still a little too soon to say.”

Puljujarvi has one goal and no assists in his 10 starts, with an average of 12:17 ice time.

Puljujarvi is in the final season of his entry-level contract.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly