Jesse Puljujärvi moves closer to Edmonton Oilers return

Edmonton Oilers Forward Jesse Puljujarvi #13. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Edmonton Oilers Forward Jesse Puljujarvi #13. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

After missing almost a month through injury, forward Jesse Puljujärvi is close to making a return for the Edmonton Oilers.

The Edmonton Oilers have suffered through a number of injuries to key players this season, and were disappointed to lose Jesse Puljujärvi to a lower-body injury he suffered during a 7-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks last month.

Puljujärvi had scored in the game he suffered the injury in and had been enjoying the most productive season of his NHL career prior to being placed on injured reserve, missing out on ten games at the time of writing.

In 46 games so far this season, the Finnish winger has scored 12 goals and added 16 helpers to reach a career-high 28 points – with last season’s 25 (15G, 10A) his previous highest tally since being drafted fourth overall in the 2016 Draft.

Since losing Puljujärvi, the Oilers have posted a 4-5-1 record and could do with having a boost to their depleted roster, something which appears to be getting closer.

According to The Athletic’s Daniel Nugent-Bowman, Puljujärvi took to the ice for the Oiler’s morning skate ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (March 12th) – though there is still currently no indication of how soon he could return to the line-up.

Despite missing close to a month of action with his injury, Puljujärvi remains sixth in total points production for the Edmonton Oilers this season and would give head coach Jay Woodcroft more options for his offensive core while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and even offensive-minded defenceman Tyson Barrie remain side-lined with their own ailments.

24 games remain of the Oilers’ regular season, with the team currently sat outside of the playoff places with one point separating them and the Dallas Stars in the final wildcard spot, and having players return to full health over the coming weeks could have a significant impact on where they end the season.

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The trade deadline could see the Edmonton Oilers make some changes to the roster that provides further support, but having players such as Puljujärvi return from IR in the first instance will feel like a new addition once he can finally suit up for a game.