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Jesse Puljujarvi wanted to come to New York According to Elliotte Friedman

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What might have been and what may still come to pass

Tampa Bay Lightning v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Yesterday, Elliotte Friedman made mention of a potential deal that would have sent Lias Andersson to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Jesse Puljujärvi in his 31 Thoughts Column for Sportsnet. While it’s important to note that Friedman “believes” that Andersson was discussed and that there may have been other pieces involved in the deal, he does state that Puljujärvi wanted to join the Rangers before the Dec. 1 signing deadline for restricted free agents.

Before the Dec. 1 signing deadline, word is the Oilers re-engaged some of the clubs who had shown previous interest in Jesse Puljujarvi. That includes the Rangers, St. Louis and Tampa Bay. I believe they discussed Lias Andersson with New York, and think Puljujarvi wanted to go there, but things couldn’t close.

Puljujarvi, 21, was the fourth overall pick of the 2016 Draft. Of course, this isn’t the first time that we’ve heard his name connected to the Rangers. In early November, Friedman reported that the Rangers had shown “persistent interest” in the big, skilled winger.

The Finn is currently playing in Liiga with Kärpät where he has scored 11 goals and notched 13 assists in 26 games. Puljujarvi is undeniably the most impactful player on Kärpät. He leads the team with a 62.8 CF% at 5-on-5 — though it’s worth noting that five of his 11 goals have been scored on the man advantage — and has put 176 shots on net while averaging 18:32 TOI/GP.

In the 46 games he played with the Oilers last season, Puljujärvi’s most frequent linemates at 5-on-5 were Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (241:46), Jujhar Khaira (156:18), and Milan Lucic (126:40). He finished the 2018-19 season with just nine points — five of which were primary points produced during 5-on-5 hockey.

The other wrinkle to this report is that it could be the first indication that the Rangers have discussed moving Andersson, who was the seventh overall pick of the 2017 Draft. Since being sent back down to the Hartford Wolf Pack, Andersson has two goals and zero helpers in five games. Before he was sent to the AHL, he had zero goals and just one assist in 17 games. Andersson turned 21 on Oct. 13.

Data courtesy of liiga.fi and naturalstattrick.com.