Tippett confident in Puljujarvi's growth: 'He's a different player'

Minas Panagiotakis / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett believes his club will get an improved version of Jesse Puljujarvi when the Swedish-born Finnish forward rejoins the club next season.

"You watch him play now and he's a different player," Tippett said, according to NHL.com's Ryan Frankson. "He's a dominant player in the Finnish league right now.

"His English is good and he's anxious to come over and prove he can be a good player in the best league in the world ... I think we'll get a much better player coming in here this time."

Puljujarvi tallied 24 goals and 53 points over 56 games for Karpat of the Finnish Elite League in 2019-20 to rank fourth in league scoring.

The Oilers signed the 6-foot-4 winger to a two-year, $2.35-million deal earlier this month. He's been loaned to Karpat for the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign but will return to North America once the NHL season starts.

Puljujarvi has struggled to carve out a permanent role at the NHL level since being selected fourth overall by Edmonton at the 2016 draft. He recorded 17 goals and 37 points over 139 contests with the Oilers before choosing to return to Finland prior to last season after the team failed to meet his trade request.

Tippett confident in Puljujarvi's growth: 'He's a different player'
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