The next step in the relationship between Jesse Puljujarvi and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be a tryout with their AHL affiliate. Wednesday, Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas broke the news on his radio show that Puljujarvi would join the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on a professional tryout.
Dubas said Puljujarvi was to leave Pittsburgh after the Penguins’ practice on Wednesday to report to the WBS Penguins to sign the PTO and begin the next phase.
“In the next few days, Jesse Puljujarvi will go to Wilkes-Barre, if he gets through practice OK, and begin his process of getting back into gameplay,” Dubas told show host Josh Getzoff. “That would be a massive boost for us if he can get back to his form of a season or two ago with the Oilers and what he was able to bring to them.”
Puljujarvi, 25, signed a free-agent tryout deal with the Penguins on Dec. 10. Per terms of the NHL CBA, a free-agent tryout differs from a PTO in a few significant ways. The player may take part in all team activities except games. Also, Puljujarvi’s expenses were covered for the first 10 days, but after 10 days, the player may continue the tryout at his own expense.
Last summer, Puljujarvi had double hip resurfacing surgery. His procedure was performed by the same surgeon who operated on Detroit Red Wings winger Patrick Kane.
Puljujarvi skated in a few Penguins’ practices. The fourth overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers in 2016 never lived up to the hype in Edmonton and had a longstanding trade request that wasn’t honored until Edmonton traded him to the Carolina Hurricanes last season, shortly before the NHL trade deadline.
Puljujarvi had 16 points (5-11-16) in 75 games, 58 with Edmonton and 17 with Carolina. The 6-foot-4, 201-pound winger is the second high-profile free agent to sign a PTO with the WBS Penguins this season. Defenseman Mark Pysyk signed a PTO after he recovered from a lower-body injury suffered in the Penguins’ training camp. After eight games, he signed with the Calgary Flames organization and is playing with Calgary’s AHL team.
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