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Jesse Puljujarvi was the Ying to Patrik Laine’s Yang at this year’s World Junior Championships, putting up an incredible five goals and 17 points in seven games in the tournament and also helping to lead Finland to the gold medal. He was named to the tournament all-star team, and won both best forward in the tournament and overall MVP. He has been a mainstay for Finland in international tournaments for years, including being part of the World Junior team at just 16 at the 2015 tournament. He has put up 13 goals and 28 points in 50 regular season games playing for Karpat in the SM-Liiga, Finland’s top men’s league. He also has two goals in two playoff games. While most expect Puljujarvi to be playing for Finland at the U18 World Championships this spring, there is also the possibility that he could instead be invited to go to the Senior Men’s tournament in Moscow.
Jesse Puljujarvi Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #3
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born May 7 1998 — Älvkarleby, Sweden (plays internationally for Finland)
Height 6’03” — Weight 198 lbs [191 cm/90 kg]
Jesse Puljujarvi has very good size and plays a game based on his size and strength advantages. He isn’t a huge hitter, but he uses his body to protect the puck and his strength and leverage to win board battles or to position himself in front of the net. He is excellent in the cycle game controlling the puck on the outside and looking for opportunities to pass to a teammate or to drive the net. He also is extremely skilled with soft hands, good stickhandling, and an excellent wrist shot and release. His long reach is a real asset in protecting the puck. He has all the skills to be a top power forward and goal scorer. Puljujarvi though can do it all, also playing the role of play-maker off the wing just as well. He has excellent vision and the ability to thread tape-to-tape passes through the tightest of openings. Puljujarvi has excellent hockey sense, making smart plays both with and without the puck and finding openings in the opposing defence get his shot off.
Jesse Puljujarvi is an excellent skater. He has the balance and power in his skating stride to fight through checks and take the puck to the net. Puljujarvi also has the speed and acceleration to beat defenders to the outside on the rush, or to get by them when he gets a small opportunity in the cycle game. He has good agility and can weave through traffic to create opportunities.
Puljujarvi is already a strong defensive player. He understands positioning in both ends of the ice, and works to cut down on shooting and passing lanes. He is willing to battle along the boards for loose pucks, and provides good back pressure to support his defense when playing against the rush. Puljujarvi is willing to put his body on the line to block shots as well.
With his size, skill and skating ability, Jesse Puljujarvi has the potential to be a first line, franchise defining winger in the NHL. His playing style is comparable to Marian Hossa, however we caution that this is a style comparison only and not one based on skill levels. Puljujarvi appears to be very close to NHL ready, and it would not be shocking to see him in the NHL next season.
The following is a compilation of highlight videos available on youtube:
Check back tomorrow for our #4 prospect.