Oct 27, 2010, 7:01 PM EST
As six NHL rookies near the nine game cut-off point from “burning” a year off their entry-level contracts, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of keeping each one at the NHL level vs. moving them down to the AHL. Sometimes the decision will already be made and we’ll just be sharing our two cents while in other instances the moves will come down to a near-coin toss. Either way, we hope you’re entertained and would love to hear your thoughts.
First up: Atlanta Thrashers forward Alex Burmistrov.
- Burmistrov was drafted eighth overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
- He is tiny, at 5’1″ and 170 lbs.
- He will play in his ninth game against the Rangers tonight.
- Basic stats: zero points in eight games played.
- He’s average a little under 15 minutes per night.
- Burmistrov’s junior rights belong to the Barrie Colts in the OHL
What people are saying about him
If you ask Thrashers GM Rick Dudley, he’s almost guaranteed to stay at the NHL level. Here’s what Dudley said to the Sporting News.
“It’s 99 percent that we’ll keep him,” Dudley said. “There’s never been any talk of sending him back.”
There’s been growing speculation that Burmistrov, a center, might be headed back to OHL Barrie because he’s still looking for his first NHL point, but that speculation isn’t coming from the Thrashers’ front office. Dudley has been impressed with Burmistrov’s play without the puck, his efforts on defense and his strong play in key situations.
“He’s been one of our three or four top forwards every game,” Dudley said. “We’re not worried about points.”
I haven’t been able to watch every game very closely, so maybe Burmistrov really has been useful on defense and is “strong in key situations.”
It’s still difficult to get over that whole zero points thing. Why not let Burmistrov get an extra year of seasoning – and maybe improve his scoring confidence by playing in the minors – instead of burning an entry-level year in which the team is still a work in progress?
This isn’t a slam dunk, but I’m going with my gut on this one.
James’ verdict: Send him down.
Burmistrov is an interesting character. He hasn’t been thrown to the wolves to play on a top two scoring line. In fact, he’s been playing on the fourth line with a pair of grinders in Ben Eager and Chris Thorburn. Burmistrov doesn’t have any points this season but he’s still played relatively well and it reflects upon his linemates as Thorburn has three goals and an assist while Eager has a goal and a helper. He’s getting steady time on the ice, averaging over 14 minutes a game so he’s not being buried on the bench. Still, you’d like to see him do a bit more for himself offensively and that hasn’t happened as of yet. Perhaps he needs a few more games to get it going, but perhaps he just needs to grow up a little bit more. There’s a lot of hope and potential here for Burmistrov and getting him to develop the right way is important for Atlanta. The memories of former top pick Patrick Stefan failing to live up to his potential are still lingering as a reminder.
Joe’s verdict: Begrudgingly, send him down.
- PHT’s 2015 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker 15
- Ducks get their veteran d-man, adding Wisniewski from Columbus 3
- Lovejoy returns to Pittsburgh for Despres 24
- Wild get Stewart as Buffalo-to-Minnesota pipeline continues 38
- Jordan Leopold’s daughter may have orchestrated the Minnesota trade 12
- Wings get Zidlicky from Devils 63
- Can the Wings and Leafs work out a deal for Phaneuf? 45
- Trade: Montreal acquires Petry from Edmonton for two draft picks 21
- Bruins acquire Connolly from the Lightning for draft picks (Confirmed) 32
- Trade: Rangers land Yandle, Coyotes receive Duclair, first-rounder 69
- Wild beat Avs, dying seconds fight set stage for rematch (165)
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- Trade: Blackhawks acquire Vermette from Arizona for Dahlbeck, first rounder (74)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (69)
- Trade: Rangers land Yandle, Coyotes receive Duclair, first-rounder (69)