Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesse Puljujarvi thanked Edmonton Oilers fans in a goodbye letter to the city posted on his Instagram page on Tuesday.
Puljujarvi was traded to the Hurricanes in exchange for Finnish prospect Patrik Puistola earlier in the day.
“It’s time to say thanks and good bye Oilers fans, I loved you as much as you loved me❤️,” he wrote. “Teammates, coaches and all the Oilers staff, with you I grew up into this league! I’ll remember these six years for the rest of my life! Let’s smile when we meet. 😁 Jesse.”
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Puljujarvi, who was beloved by fans for his positive attitude and antics, was selected by the Oilers with the No. 4 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, and had 112 points (51 goals, 61 assists) over parts of six seasons in Edmonton.
The 24-year-old netted 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 58 games this season, and would’ve been an unrestricted free agent at season’s end after Oilers general manager Ken Holland admitted he would not have qualified the player at his $3 million commitment.
The move ends months of speculation around Puljujarvi’s future with Edmonton.
He was rumoured as recently as two weeks ago to hit the waiver wire in order to free up some much-needed cap space for the Oilers heading into the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline at 1 pm MT on Friday.
It was also speculated any Puljujarvi trade might not take place in-season at all.
“Jesse possesses a great blend of size and skill, and he will add to the depth of our forward group,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said in a statement. “He has familiarity with some of our other Finnish players, and we see him as a great fit for our team and locker room.”