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BLOG: Lucic talks Puljujarvi

"He's definitely got the frame to support and play through a heavy 82-game schedule," said Lucic

by Paul Gazzola / EdmontonOilers.com

Each new season presents new opportunities for players looking to sink their teeth into the National Hockey League.

Video: RAW | Milan Lucic

One of those hopefuls is 2016 fourth-overall selection Jesse Puljujarvi, who started with the big club in 2016-17 - recording one goal and seven assists in 28 games - until being sent down to the Bakersfield Condors. 

With the Condors, the Finn scored 12 goals and added 16 assists for 28 points in 39 games. 

Puljujarvi - who worked on augmenting his speed and power this summer - wants to make an impact this season and veteran Milan Lucic weighed in on the subject Wednesday at the Oilers informal skate.

"I think he learned a lot last year," said Lucic. "Obviously, you're not happy with yourself when you start up (in the NHL) then you finish down (in the AHL) but it's all about development."

Lucic referenced his early NHL days.

"I remember when I was 19 enjoying the NHL," the 29-year-old began. "Because I was from the CHL (Canadian Hockey League), they didn't have the ability to send me down but I remember in my first 40-45 games, I only averaged five and a half minutes of playing time a game until a couple left wingers got hurt and I finally got my chance.

"I was able to step up and show that I can play but he definitely - as a 19-year-old now - can step in and provide us with some offence. Now that he knows the North American game a little bit better, he could probably feel more comfortable out there and knows what to expect playing in a league like this."

Although the NHL is a physical and fast league to play in, Lucic believes Puljujarvi has the tools needed to compete.

"He's definitely got the frame to support and play through a heavy 82-game schedule," he said.

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