With their fourth overall pick, the Edmonton Oilers selected right winger Jesse Puljujarvi in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
The 18-year-old from Finland is 6’2” and 196 pounds.
Puljujarvi played for Karpat in the Finnish Elite League last season, scoring 13 goals with 15 assists through 50 games. He also added four goals and five assists through 10 playoff games.
NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr describes Puljujarvi as the “ultimate power forward package,” a “well-rounded winger” who can score and create opportunities for his teammates.
Puljujarvi won MVP and best forward honours at the world juniors while playing alongside second overall pick Patrik Laine, who was selected by Winnipeg earlier Friday.
In an interview after Friday’s announcement, Puljujarvi admitted he didn’t have a favourite hockey player. He also said one of his current goals was to improve his English.
Prior to this year, the Edmonton Oilers had a history of winning the top pick, most recently in 2015, which they used to select Connor McDavid.
The Oilers have gone a decade without making the playoffs, last qualifying in 2006. A new management team, led by general manager Peter Chiarelli, has been looking to round out the roster, primarily on defence.
Edmonton remained a poor defensive club last season despite the presence of esteemed new head coach Todd McLellan, stable goaltending from Cam Talbot, as well as the addition of highly
skilled centres Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Leading up to the 2016 draft, there was speculation Edmonton would trade its pick, possibly for a much-needed defenceman. The name P.K. Subban was even thrown around.
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft is being held Friday and Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.
With files from Global News