2016 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Jesse Puljujarvi
A look at the Finnish wunderkind (who doesn’t even turn 18 until May 7th)
Position: Right Wing
Current team: Oulun Kärpät, Finnish Liiga
Date of birth: May 7, 1998
Place of birth: Älvkarleby, Sweden
Weight: 206 lbs
Jesse Puljujarvi, the 17 year old dubbed "The New Finnish Flash" is drawing comparisons to another Finn, the other "Flash": longtime Anaheim Duck Teemu Selanne. Jesse Puljujarvi, fresh off of posting 5-12-17 for the Finnish U20 team as he led them to the World Junior Championship this past winter (racking up Best Forward and Most Valuable Player awards along the way), has been a consensus top five prospect in all major publications ahead of the draft. Puljujarvi ‘s scoring acumen in the World Junior Championships places him second in the all-time scoring records for an under-18 player, behind only one Jaromir Jagr (he does share second place with Wayne Gretzky and Eric Lindros).
Jesse Puljujarvi boasts two strengths heading into the draft: his strength and his speed. And let’s hear from the man (man? Is that a thing when you’re only 17?) himself:
"Scoring is the best thing in hockey," Puljujarvi said via an interpreter. "Of course there are also a lot other things I try to do on the ice. But I always try to score."
That sounds like someone I’d love to have on the ice here in Nationwide Arena. Jesse Puljujarvi posted 13-15-28 in 50 games for Oulun Kärpät in the Finnish Liiga, but again, he’s only 17 years old. And, with his size and natural physical gifts, he could become a dominant, goal scoring winger for years to come.
Is He a Good Fit in Columbus?
Check this quote out:
"He's a powerful skater with good speed and balance," said Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting. "He has outstanding hockey sense and reads the play well. He's a good playmaker with strong puck-handling skills. He can take advantage of 1-on-1 situations with his long reach."
How great does that sound? Line up Saad-Wennberg-Puljujarvi and just let them go. After letting Ryan Johansen go, the team could use more size and speed up front and, though he’s not a center, Puljujarvi can provide those skills, as well as a will to score goals. With the Blue Jackets desperate for any and all help on the offensive end, Puljujarvi could certainly provide an attractive option for the Front Office ahead of the 2016 NHL Draft.
Puljujarvi in Action