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Purjujärvi needs fresh start with Edmonton Oilers

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Jesse Puljujarvi has made a fresh start and is off to a great start.

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Purjujärvi kicked off the first day of Edmonton Oilers training camp on Thursday with Zach Hyman and Leon Dreisaitl. Head his coach Jay Woodcroft is a clear message that he wants to forget last season and give the 24-year-old Finn a golden opportunity to make his start in the jump. his career.

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“He’s stepping up in his game and consistently trying to score top six minutes,” Woodcroft said.

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“I think he’s had a good summer. I think he’s starting with two very good linemates. He wants to prove what he can do.”

Now it’s up to the troubled and sometimes underperforming winger to do something about this, his sixth year in the NHL. He earns $3 million. He’s trying to get into the top six again. Even he admits it’s time to step up and finally become the player he can be.

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“That’s right,” he said, adding that you couldn’t ask for more than Hyman and Drysitel on your phone. The season, no one has to think about last year.It’s a new season and I’m going to try to do the best I can and let’s see how it goes.I’m in a good place and feeling good.”

It remains to be seen how long Purjujärvi’s lead will last, but as general manager Ken Holland said in his pre-camp speech, things could change quickly. and clarified that nothing will be handed over, citing where it was drafted.

The Oilers are in an evolutionary stage where only producers have a place. This is the era of Shut Up And Play.

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“I think[Purjujärvi]was frustrated at the end of the year,” he said. was playing.”

But that’s life in the big leagues, especially on good teams.

Holland said, “You take those hours and if you’re not delivering, coaches make changes.” That’s the process of playing in the NHL.

“This is an internal competition and you have to stick to what you do. The way we get better and deeper is with people pushing. You have to figure it out, you might meet with a coach and do whatever you want on the ice, on the ice, in the gym, to get more responsibility. We have to find a way to get back a larger portion of

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“That’s how we push this team to a higher level.”

Purjujärvi has perhaps shown an epiphany on his way to becoming the player he and the organization want him to be — a younger version of Hyman on the right — but his inconsistency and long dry patches hamper his progress, I’ve put his place here in jeopardy.

He started off strong last season, but his game plummeted (just 13 points in his last 36 games) and slipped down the depth chart.

Purjujärvi admits that his confidence took a big hit and things got worse from there. There has been speculation that he wants to leave Edmonton again, but he is at camp and hopes to make the most of it.

“Now we start all over again,” he said. “I try to be the best player I can be, depending on what I am good at. You need to help the good guys. When you’re in the scoring spot, hit hard, top corner. Go blue paint, get strong. Average.”

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This time around, he’s going in the right direction for things, hoping the trend will rise rather than collapse.

“Let’s be a more confident player,” he said. “I think confidence is a big thing in the NHL. You need confidence every day, every game, every play. I try to be a tough guy and play with confidence.

The best way for someone to regain confidence is to train hard and play hard. By all accounts, that was Purjujärvi’s strategy.

With that foundation, things usually go well.

“Confidence doesn’t always come from the beginning,” Woodcroft says. “It comes with a lot of hard work and effort.” I thought he looked really good in captain’s skates (before camp).

“I see a very motivated player who has a lot of work to do. He wants to show what he can do. We have a responsibility to steadily build up

Twitter.com/rob_tychkowski

rtychkowski@postmedia.com

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Purjujärvi needs fresh start with Edmonton Oilers

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