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Report: UFA Puljujarvi eyeing December return after undergoing hip surgery

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Unrestricted free-agent forward Jesse Puljujarvi is eyeing an NHL return in early-to-mid December as he continues to work his way back from offseason hip surgery, TSN's Chris Johnston reported on Thursday's edition of "Insider Trading."

Johnston added Puljujarvi is currently skating in Finland and that "it sounds as though he's feeling very, very good."

Puljujarvi hit the open market in late June after the Carolina Hurricanes opted not to tender him a qualifying offer, which would have been worth $3 million.

The 25-year-old is in a similar boat as Patrick Kane, who also remains unsigned after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in early June. The same surgeon did both Kane and Puljujarvi's procedures, per Johnston.

Washington Capitals forward Niklas Backstrom underwent hip resurfacing surgery in the 2022 offseason and announced on Wednesday that he'd be stepping away from hockey indefinitely due to his "ongoing injury situation."

Puljujarvi was selected fourth overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2016 NHL Draft. He's amassed 51 goals and 114 points in 334 career NHL games, split between the Oilers and Hurricanes.

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