22-Year-Old Left Wing – Washington Capitals
Andre Burakovsky Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Capitals in July of 2017.
Burakovsky underwent successful surgery on his fractured left thumb Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined for 6-to-8 weeks.
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Andre Burakovsky: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Born in Austria to Swedish parents with a Russian surname, Burakovsky’s got hockey in his blood, and it showed last year. Although Burakovsky’s first full NHL season resulted in a modest total of 38 points, that he managed to do so much scoring while averaging only 13:01 of ice time with negligible power-play minutes offers considerable promise for the 21-year-old’s future. However, there are two reasons to doubt Burakovsky will reach his potential this year, and their names are Alex Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson – the Caps’ top two left wingers, whose presence means Burakovsky is likely to be stuck on the third line again. When Washington’s finally ready to take the training wheels off, look out – the 2013 first-round pick is a speedy, sharpshooting dynamo who’s going to put up big numbers once he gets the chance.
Burakovsky came out of the blocks with 12 points in his first 15 games last fall and soon became part of the Calder conversation. Unfortunately, he couldn't maintain the hot pace. Burakovsky's talent was never questioned, but his lack of commitment in his own zone and weak board play resulted in lost ice time, healthy scratches and a stint in the AHL. But that won’t happen again. He’s talented enough to play any position, and his upside is that of a second-line center. But that’s Evgeny Kuznetsov’s job, and he’s not going anywhere soon. That leaves Burakovsky battling with Marcus Johansson for the left wing spot on the second line, but he could also roll as the Caps’ third-line pivot. His fantasy value is tied to his linemates this season, and he'll find himself on a short leash (and headed to Hershey of the AHL) if he slumps for too long. But it won’t take too many seasons for Burakovsky to start dictating the value of the guys he plays beside. He’s just that talented.
Little more than a year after being selected 23rd overall by the Capitals in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Burakovsky appears to be the latest evidence that the Caps’ scouting staff has earned their paychecks. The Swedish winger had a fantastic rookie season in the OHL, finishing with 41 goals and 46 assists in 47 regular season games with Erie. Burakovsky also helped the Otters’ cause in the postseason with 10 goals in just 14 games. The injury to Tom Wilson opens the door for Burakovsky to make the Caps out of training camp, as he certainly proved his mettle during the team’s rookie development camp in early July. Still, the Caps are inclined not to fast-track his development, and the safer bet is that the talented forward will spend 2014-2015 season honing his skills in Hershey of the AHL. That may change with an impressive camp, so keep an eye on Burakovsky in the short-term, as his NHL career may begin sooner than expected.
Burakowsky is another young prospect that keeper leaguers should take note of. Burakowsky is a skilled offensive player but his intensity is a bit inconsistent. However, in a few years’ time he should fit right in with Washington's offense-first mentality.