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NHL Draft

Puljujarvi to skip fitness testing at Combine

Projected top-three selection in 2016 NHL Draft recovering from knee surgery

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Karpat right wing Jesse Puljujarvi, a projected top-three pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, said Thursday he will not participate in any of the fitness testing at the NHL Scouting Combine after having surgery on his left knee in May.

Puljujarvi, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters eligible for the draft, sustained the injury playing for Karpat in Liiga (Finland) on March 4.

"I don't like [that I can't participate]," Puljujarvi said. "But it's good; it's good. It's feeling better and better."

Puljujarvi participated in the functional movement screening test Thursday and has interviewed with 11 teams at the combine, which is being held at First Niagara Center and HarborCenter.

Puljujarvi was named the best forward and most valuable player at the 2016 World Junior Championship for gold medal-winning Finland in January, with a tournament-leading 17 points in seven games. He also had five goals and two assists to help Finland win the gold medal at the 2016 World Under-18 Championships in Grand Forks, N.D., in April.

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