Jul 13, 2014, 1:30 PM EST
When the Washington Capitals selected Andre Burakovsky with the 23rd overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Austrian-born forward already had gotten used to playing with men in Sweden’s second-tier league. What he lacked was North American experience.
Burakovsky decided to remedy that by playing for the OHL Erie Otters last season and while he thought his first few games went “really, really bad,” he was able to make the adjustment. In the end, he scored 41 goals and 87 points in 57 games.
“What really separated him was his wrist shot when he was on the rush,” Erie coach Kris Knoblauch said, per NHL.com. “He scored numerous goals just using the defenseman as a screen and shooting it through his legs and beating the goaltender. With his wrist shot that’s certainly something that the other players, as good as they were, couldn’t do.”
Now that he’s used to playing in North America, Burakovsky will head into the Washington Capitals’ training camp with a shot of making the team’s opening game roster, especially with Tom Wilson‘s (leg) availability for the start of the season uncertain. Capitals coach Barry Trotz hasn’t gotten a chance to know Burakovsky yet, but assistant general manager Ross Mahoney is excited to see what Burakovsky can do during training camp.
“Andre’s definitely on the right path,” Mahoney said. “Very, very pleased with his progression.”
- Blackhawks aren’t done talking trades, will look to add another forward 0
- Breaking: Flyers trade Kimmo Timonen to Blackhawks 13
- Video: Couture fined $5K for slew-footing Smith 22
- Time to start winning — Bruins’ next four games are against non-playoff teams 17
- Burgled: Sens’ Hammond shuts out Kings 14
- Wild get important win vs. Preds (and some luck, too) 41
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs 66
- Panthers acquire Jagr from Devils 29
- Trotz doesn’t see a ‘big, sexy, difference-maker guy’ on the market 17
- What’s up with the reports of problems in the Blackhawks’ room? 40
- Petrovic: Chicago will ‘probably seek revenge’ for Kane injury tonight (82)
- ‘I don’t know why we’re so comfortable,’ says Toews after loss to Avalanche (69)
- Report: Alex Petrovic avoids discipline after injuring Patrick Kane (68)
- Trading baggage: Blue Jackets grab Clarkson, send Horton’s contract to Leafs (66)
- Lindros files $3M defamation lawsuit against ex-referee Stewart (Updated: Now $250K) (65)