RW Jesse Puljujarvi (Oulun Karpat, Liiga)
Jesse Puljujarvi is the other Finnish forward fighting for the second spot on draft rankings. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 201 pounds, Puljujarvi also possesses the size of an NHL power forward and combines size and high-end skill — which is something NHL GMs drool over.
"Puljujärvi is a big winger who combines size, skating and skill. A strong skater who can blast past the opposition in full speed. Able to use his size, reach and stickhandling skills to retain the puck in speed. A smart player at both ends of the ice, both on and off the puck. Great work ethic and positive attitude. More of a playmaker than a scorer and could improve his shooting skills. Doesn’t shy away from physical play, but could use his size more to his benefit.(EP 2016)"
Laine and Puljujarvi are slightly different player types, which makes it even harder to determine who is the better prospect. While Laine is more of a traditional power forward who drives the net and likes to use his shot, Puljujarvi is more of a skilled playmaker. He knows how to be physical as well but doesn’t hit quite as much as Laine.
Puljujarvi only has eight goals and 20 points in 44 games so far this season, but he showed what he can do at the 2016 World Juniors. There, the 17-year-old had five goals and 17 points in seven games and was named the best forward and best player of the tournament.
Potential: Elite Winger
Draft Range: 1-5
Next: D Jakob Chychrun