Burakovsky Thriving with Avalanche

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Updated: October 17, 2019

Andre Burakovsky continues to impress the Colorado Avalanche coaching staff as he continues to show improvement in the early 2019-20 NHL season.

Burakovsky was the Capitals first round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, selecting him 23rd overall. However, the 6’3″ winger saw limited ice time in the Capitals organization. The Avalanche were seeking an expanded offensive lineup and the 24-year old got exactly what he wanted from his new team: an expanded role and the opportunity to become a key offensive contributer.

Positioned on a line with Nazem Kadri and Joonas Donskoi, Burakovsky had scored two goals and added thre assists in just his first six games. When asked about his expanded role, Burakovsky says “I’m just trying to play my game and just trying to do as good as I can. I’ve been getting some opportunities here, playing power play and putting up some minutes, so I’m feeling way more involved in the game and it feels good.”

While in the Capitals lineup, Burakovsky was often relegated to third and fourth line duties, averaging around 11 minutes of ice time. He still managed to collect 25 points (12G/13A).

The Avalanche gave up a second round raft pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and a minor-league forward Scott Kosmachuk. While the Capitals insist that Burakovsky wanted to be traded, the younger disputes that. “I kind of wanted to play more and if that wouldn’t be with the Caps, then it would be somewhere else. I want to take the next step in my career and be a successful player and I think I could do that with the Avalanche. They’re giving me the opportunity for it, so it feels great to have that.”

It was obvious that the winger struggled to find consistency with the Capitals but still managed to college 145 points (62G/83A) in 328 regular season games. He also managed 18 points (9G/9A) in 56 Stanely Cup Playoff games.

The Avalanche are seeing Burakovsky’s acquisition paying dividends already. “He’s been good” says Coach Jared Bendar. “We acquired him and a couple of other guys because we wanted some secondary scoring in our lineup, and adding some size and skating ability with a guy like Andre I think was really important. And he’s come up big for us already: back-to-back winning goals, he’s playing a big role on our power play and five-on-five. Right now, he’s as advertised, exactly what we needed”.

What are your thoughts? Did the Capitals give up a late bloomer in Burakovsky?

(Photo Courtesy – The Denver Post)

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