Insider: Jesse Puljujarvi Free Agency Update

Once the 4th overall pick in the NHL Draft, former Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi is not only battling the "bust" label at this point, but he's also in the midst of battling an arduous and lengthy recovery from double-hip surgery back in June. 

According to NHL Insider Chris Johnson, Puljujarvi is getting closer to a return, and could make an intriguing upside option for teams willing to take a chance on the former first-rounder. 

Puljujarvi is skating in Finland right now. He's just 25-year-old, obviously a former 4th overall pick, and it sounds like he's feeling very, very good. His timetable is... hoping to return in early-to-mid December in terms of playing. He won't necessarily have the same pick of teams (as another free agent looking for a new club later this month, Patrick Kane), but could be an intriguing player to watch who could come in on a cheap contract.

Although he showed some occasional flashes in Edmonton, overall, Puljujarvi was a huge disappointment, and the team shipped him off to the Carolina Hurricanes last season after mustering just 14 points in 58 games. His two points in 17 games in Carolina didn't endear him to that franchise, either, and he wasn't issued a qualifying offer. 

Overall, the former Swedish star has 114 points in 334 NHL games (51 goals, 63 assists). Given the way his 2022-23 season ended and the resulting surgery, he will not cost a lot for teams looking to add a former elite prospect who just hasn't figured it all out at the NHL level yet. 

 Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports