Free Agent Jesse Puljujarvi May Return to NHL Sooner Than Expected

A report on TSN's Insider Trading indicates that free agent Jesse Puljujärvi, who underwent a serious hip operation earlier in the summer, is much closer to a return than originally thought. 

The double-hip surgery in which a metal ball and cup were placed into his hip joints was said to have a recovery timeline of anywhere between six and ten months. It looks like Puljujarvi will beat that by a considerable margin.

”I’m told that it’s going extremely well," said Chris Johnston. "The rehab process has been terribly encouraging for Jesse Puljujärvi. So well in fact that he may be ready to return as soon as next month…”

The former No. 4 overall pick (2016) confirmed that all is going very well and that November is a very real possibility for his return, though there are no contract talks to speak of at the moment.  

Puljujarvi has been rehabbing in his homeland in Finland this summer. The Carolina Hurricanes didn't make him a qualifying offer at the conclusion of last season, making the Finnish forward an unrestricted free agent. 

The big winger has recorded 16 points and 139 hits in 75 games with the Edmonton Oilers and Carolina in 2022-23. In 334 NHL games over six seasons, he's totalled 51 goals and 114 points in about 13 minutes of ice time per night. His best stretch in the league came early in the 2021-22 season when he registered 23 points in 29 games with the Oilers. 

Photo: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports