Could Burmistrov Become An Oiler?

Trin Potratz
August 20 2014 11:49AM

After completing his entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, Alexander Burmistrov took his talents back home to Russia where he enjoyed a successful season with the KHL’s Kazan Ak-Bars.

Recent reports state that Burmistrov is eyeing an NHL return after he fulfills the 2nd year of his KHL contract set to play out this coming season.

This should be good news for Jets fans, as Burmistrov is a former first round pick (albeit from the Atlanta years) and he has potential to help the team next season. The bad news is that Burmistrov is not necessarily high on returning to the Jets.

THE INTERVIEW TELLS US….

Ian McLaren of TheScore wrote an article based on an interview Slava Malamud of Sport-Express.ru gave on TSN 1290. Here’s what Malamud had to say:

“He’s being kind of diplomatic there, but the vibe I caught from that exchange when I read it in the original Russian was that he’s not too hot on the idea of coming back to Winnipeg, and he might want to try his luck somewhere else.”

Malamud also reported that Burmistrov, after translation, stated that he is willing to go to any club that’s willing to let him play. Burmistrov seems to want to get a chance to have a scoring role in the NHL, instead of being utilized as a defensive specialist for the remainder of his career.

Burmistrov still thinks he can become a top-six forward in the NHL, and he doesn’t seem to think the Jets will give him that opportunity. It’s a fair assessment for a player who is disgruntled with the organization, and considering Little, Scheifele, and Perreault have the centre position locked up, it’s likely Burmistrov won’t be a fit with the Jets.

MAKE THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION

The Jets will have a final say considering they still own Burmistrov’s rights, and that means they won’t lose him for nothing if he returns to the NHL. It’s actually a really good thing because Burmistrov won’t become an Alexander Radulov, where the NHL team gets nothing for the player.

Burmistrov will need to sign a new deal and commit to playing for the Jets before being dealt. I’m sure Cheveldayoff is aware of Burmistrov’s issues, but he may be able to convince the young Russian to stay with the club given the fact that new coach Paul Maurice may give him opportunities that Claude Noel didn’t.

If Burmistrov is dead set on moving on from the Jets, then Cheveldayoff can trade him to another club and receive some decent value. Burmistrov is familiar with the NHL game, has a proven track record of being an effective defensive player, and still has the potential to become at least a 50-point player in the NHL. Teams seeking a potential two-way, second line centre could come calling. Is there a match made in heaven anywhere?

WELCOME TO OIL COUNTRY

While the Edmonton Oilers currently have a gaping hole at centre on the second line, it is believed that Leon Draisaitl will eventually hold that spot down, and may do it as early as this season. Aside from Draisaitl, the Oilers will employ Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello and Boyd Gordon down the middle.

Considering the need for a reliable two-way centre ready to help the team win now, it’s not all that far-fetched to believe the Oilers could have interest in Burmistrov.

While he is young, Burmistrov will be 24 years old near the start of the 2015-16 NHL season, and would fit in nicely with the developing core of the Edmonton Oilers. Burmistrov was selected only seven spots after Taylor Hall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, and he’ll join fellow Russian youngster Nail Yakupov, giving him someone he can relate to.

New associate coach Craig Ramsay is familiar with the player, and was Burmistrov’s first NHL coach with the Atlanta Thrashers. The Oilers want to win now, and don’t mind sacrificing their future. They’re equipped with a great group of defensemen prospects, and could offer the Jets a package like Dillon Simpson, Kyle Platzer and a 2nd round pick in either 2016 or 2017. Would that be enough to get it done?

RUSSIAN A PROSPECT INTO THE NHL

When the franchise was still a mess in Atlanta, they decided Burmistrov was better suited for the NHL than to return to junior in his draft year. The 19-year-old made his debut in the NHL that year and contributed six goals and 20 points in 74 games to kick off his career.

After relocating to Winnipeg and new coach Claude Noel, Burmistrov stalled and didn’t necessarily develop as a scorer in his sophomore season, contributing 13-15-28 in 76 games.

Due to the infamous 2012 lockout, Burmistrov began the season in the AHL, where he underwhelmed, only producing half a point per game with the St. John’s IceCaps. Once the lockout ended, Burmistrov took another step back, only scoring 10 points in 44 games.

That season completed Burmistrov’s entry-level deal and he bolted for his homeland due to dissatisfaction with Claude Noel, thus ruining his relationship with the franchise. Burmistrov’s offensive game would have been better suited to develop at the junior level earlier, and his confidence may have taken a hit.

He may have regained that confidence playing top-line minutes in the KHL last season, and if he can produce well this coming season, he’ll be ready to hit the ground running once he returns to the NHL. 

SUM IT ALL UP

Burmistrov will be in the NHL again, but not likely with the Jets. The best news is that if he wants to play in the world’s best league, he’ll need to sign a contract with the Jets, thus allowing the organization to get something of value back.

I’d say the odds of Burmistrov wearing the Jets jersey again are similar to Alexandre Giroux becoming a top six forward in the NHL, which is similar to winning $10,000 on Black 13.

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Potratz is SAIT Journalism graduate and has worked as a reporter for the Grande Prairie Daily-Herald Tribune and Strathmore Standard. After keeping his own personal blog at www.potratzhockey.com he aspired to join the Nation Network. Follow him on Twitter @PotratzHockey
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#51 The Soup Fascist
August 20 2014, 07:56PM
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Kevin McCartney wrote:

Simpson and Platzer are not top prospects in the least. Both were fourth rounders. Simpson is putting together a resume but is still a long shot to be an NHL difference maker and Platzer had 36 points in 66 games in his draft +1 year. I think Lowetide even called him a walkabout on draft day. He wasn't even a ranked skater.

Lots of people have made a similar comment, so I don't mean to pick on you. I just think it's important to put it in perspective. The Jets' equivalents might be Zach Yuen and Austen Brassard. I don't think those guys would get Oilers fans excited, just as Simpson and Platzer shouldn't raise much in the way of protective indignation. I think the Jets lose that trade (especially considering their track record with using 2nd round picks!).

Sorry Kevin,

The value of draft picks from 3 years ago do not remain static throughout the career of the player. They go up. They go down. Simpson's stock is on the rise. What exactly are you looking to get in return for a temperamental player who is not in the league and has basically said he does not want to play for the Jets? What is FMV for a smallish forward whose career high is 28 points?

Don't feel bad. We in Oilersville at times overestimate the value of our players too.

We'll keep Simpson and the second (likely a decent one). You keep the guy who would rather play in the KHL than play for the team that drafted him.

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#52 Old time oil fan
August 20 2014, 08:00PM
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Harry wrote:

Center ice depth!? Thats priceless. An weak 18 year old who will probably play in junior and a guy who for the life of me I cant understand the hype on (Monahan) , who had a whopping 34 points. Stajan = Gordon. Backland = mediocre.

Wow that is some amazing depth right there.

Furthermore I find it funny how Hiller is all of a sudden a be all end all for Cowtown. Tell me how is he such a saviour when he couldnt hold down a job with the best team in the west? And against two rookies no less!!

It's fun to pick on the flames but lets not forget that they embarrassed us 8-1 at home last year and finished 10 points above in the standings. Throwing rocks from a glass house. If MacT can't find a dependable 2C we are only 1 injury away from the same nightmare again this year.

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#53 oilredemption
August 20 2014, 08:18PM
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Nice article trin signed jon Trudel. Although burmy just isn't quite proven enough for my liking to be that 2nd line center moving forward although he's definitely better than the options now.

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#54 Oilfire33
August 20 2014, 09:14PM
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Just a little more patience, Arco and Lander may do the job, arco did a decent job last year with gags out and lander needs a shot on a skilled line, not a grunt line, we don't have to give up any picks for them, we also have to start conserving money, hard to maintain a team of first round picks, plus we need the draft picks to stack the shelves with the future, our future says we will be trading some expensive talent away, will need some ready replacements.

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#55 Don W
August 20 2014, 10:05PM
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I don't know if Burmistrov is the answer but I think at some point they will have to trade some defence prospects for a promising centre. I could see this type of deal happening because if he won't play for the Jets you probably don't need to trade more than 2nd tier prospects. Kind of like Ottawa's trade for Turris.

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#56 slats
August 20 2014, 10:36PM
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Trin Potratz wrote:

I'm actually a HUGE Oiler fan. Have been my whole life. I just happen to be writing for the JetsNation for the time being. Got a soft spot for them but until Pavalec isn't the starter, I can see the Jets going through an Oiler-like rebuild!

Pavelec will be this year's Dubynk

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#57 BillHK
August 20 2014, 10:42PM
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@Jeffer

Nobody was worrying about the Oilers last year, but Eakins decided to play all the kids in the pre-season against the nucks when he knew damn well that the Torts was not even in the building and neither were the Sedins or Kessler. Just a goddamn goon squad. Lost Gags and nearly lost Hall or Ebs as well!

Actually I like Arco's heart, and hope that he can anchor the third scoring line. Small man but plays big, and unlike nuge, gags, and cogs, Arco can take a draw.

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#58 Neil B
August 20 2014, 10:53PM
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Just a way-out-in-left-field thought here, but the Washington Capitals are desperate for centre depth, especially quality young centre depth. And they have some decent young defencemen that just got pushed way down the depth charts on July 1. If Burmistrov were signed to a reasonable 1-year deal, they might be tempted.

There's no reason to point out why a young Russian player might be tempted to go to Washington. It would, however, require Chevy to make a player-for-player deal, something he has yet to do as a GM.

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#59 Oilfire33
August 20 2014, 11:18PM
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The bottom line with the oil is that we have to take what we have and turn it to what we need, trading away players who are presently useful and or draft picks to replace a player who is close or better is not a solution. Let the kids below develop and when we can replace a roster player with youth, get a good deal, like Petry and Shultz(money is a issue)can be replaced next year...trade em after 45 games, get some picks or center for the run to the finish line, or move Shultz up front, he will be worth more and be a replacement when peron wants 6 mil a year.

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#60 Joy S. Lee
August 21 2014, 12:02AM
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Ignoring the numbers and all of the surrounding issues, I liked what I saw of Burmistrov, I believe he has some high-end potential in his genes. Key word: potential.

Given the Oilers situation, and Burmistrov's track record and such, I certainly wouldn't give up much to get him. He's still just another prospect or depth forward until he proves something to the contrary.

I'd make the deal, because I love potential; but it might be Platzer and a 2016 third- or fourth-round pick. Dillon Simpson's value may be nearly as high as Burmistrov's, at this point, as he has tracked consistently well throughout his college years... I certainly don't think he's a no-name/no-chance prospect; and the 2nd rounder, and Platzer, that's far too much for a guy who could easily turn into a project and a failure. In dealing potential for potential, I would be willing to make a deal, but history suggests a far smaller return is necessary in similar recent events around the NHL.

In other words, like many others have suggested, I'd acquire Burmistrov to shore up the Oilers' center depth, but at a significantly lesser cost. I kind of hope it happens, because I'd be excited to see him explore that potential of his with the Oil.

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#61 Oilcruzer
August 21 2014, 12:59AM
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@Joy S. Lee

"Ignoring the numbers and all of the surrounding issues, I liked what I saw of Burmistrov, I believe he has some high-end potential in his genes. Key word: potential."

Maybe I am gun shy. Going back a year, didn't we hear something like this?

"...I liked what I saw of Belov, I believe he has some high-end potential in his genes. Key word: potential."

And then could we not say,

"...I liked what I saw of Simpson, I believe he has some high-end potential in his genes. Key word: potential."

3 for 1 on an unproven player who may just jump? Seems risky. Maybe for 1 year and an option.

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#62 Harry
August 21 2014, 02:13AM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

This could be the scenario facing Nail Yakupov this year. In his mind he's done all he can in an effort to succeed here in Edmonton. If things go south again like it looks like it will. If they keep Eakins here the whole season. They could be looking for more than a new head coach in the summer of 2015.

Best case scenario may be firing Eakins at Christmas and hoping Nail gets along with the new coach. Renewing his faith in this organization again.

Why are you so sure that things are going to go south again fo Yakupov?

It amazes me how dumb f*cks like you crown people befpre they do.a damn thing to earn it.

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#63 cccsberg
August 21 2014, 08:15AM
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Old time oil fan wrote:

It's fun to pick on the flames but lets not forget that they embarrassed us 8-1 at home last year and finished 10 points above in the standings. Throwing rocks from a glass house. If MacT can't find a dependable 2C we are only 1 injury away from the same nightmare again this year.

Huh, some realism from an Oilers fan. Nice to see. Mact has made some good moves this off-season but there are still some issues, and the team is a couple injuries away from disaster. Not much different than the Flames, injury-wise. Let's see how things roll, opening night should be an indication...

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#64 Jeffer
August 21 2014, 09:19AM
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Oilfire33 wrote:

The bottom line with the oil is that we have to take what we have and turn it to what we need, trading away players who are presently useful and or draft picks to replace a player who is close or better is not a solution. Let the kids below develop and when we can replace a roster player with youth, get a good deal, like Petry and Shultz(money is a issue)can be replaced next year...trade em after 45 games, get some picks or center for the run to the finish line, or move Shultz up front, he will be worth more and be a replacement when peron wants 6 mil a year.

Your answer is move Shultz upfront? Have you ever watched a game in your life? Just curious

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#65 Oilfire33
August 21 2014, 09:55AM
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Jeffer wrote:

Your answer is move Shultz upfront? Have you ever watched a game in your life? Just curious

I've watched enough to know that Shultz gives a great percentage of pucks up while on the point of a pp and that's his specialty, he has a good wrist shot that would be more efficient close to the net, not at the blue, also is a playmaker. Sure he would have a learning curve but he's a smart kid with high iq, adapt or die, plus he has better size as a foreward than D. He is a specialty player who is suspect 5 on 5, can't be trusted, as a foreward, I see him being more efficient and could be used in more situations. The league is changing, you have to take what you have and develope it to your specs, draft picks are needed to keep injecting youth into the system for compete level and payroll, so giving picks away isn't an option unless absolute. Competing is planning for now and 3 years down the road. So ya, I watch a little hockey....you.

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#66 Jeffer
August 21 2014, 10:34AM
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Oilfire33 wrote:

I've watched enough to know that Shultz gives a great percentage of pucks up while on the point of a pp and that's his specialty, he has a good wrist shot that would be more efficient close to the net, not at the blue, also is a playmaker. Sure he would have a learning curve but he's a smart kid with high iq, adapt or die, plus he has better size as a foreward than D. He is a specialty player who is suspect 5 on 5, can't be trusted, as a foreward, I see him being more efficient and could be used in more situations. The league is changing, you have to take what you have and develope it to your specs, draft picks are needed to keep injecting youth into the system for compete level and payroll, so giving picks away isn't an option unless absolute. Competing is planning for now and 3 years down the road. So ya, I watch a little hockey....you.

He's played 120 games. If you want to take a gifted defenseman off the blue line after a season and a half because he gives up the puck at the blue line on the power play then you know nothing about hockey. You're saying he would have a learning curve upfront but you're not willing to allow for one on defense? He's a defenseman that can move the puck up to our forwards. Would you rather have guys that just rim it around the boards? Sure he's struggled in his own end but he's young and most young defenseman do.

The league is changing...blah blah blah. Moving him to forward is a stupid idea and likely not one that anybody with any hockey sense would entertain. You're a big time analytical guy aren't you?

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#67 A-Mc
August 21 2014, 12:14PM
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THis one post has more replies than all other jets nation posts combined (excluding the other ones that involve Oilersnation folks).

The city of Winnipeg needs to open their eyes to this great resource! SPREAD THE WORD

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#68 Oilfire33
August 21 2014, 12:32PM
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Jeffer wrote:

He's played 120 games. If you want to take a gifted defenseman off the blue line after a season and a half because he gives up the puck at the blue line on the power play then you know nothing about hockey. You're saying he would have a learning curve upfront but you're not willing to allow for one on defense? He's a defenseman that can move the puck up to our forwards. Would you rather have guys that just rim it around the boards? Sure he's struggled in his own end but he's young and most young defenseman do.

The league is changing...blah blah blah. Moving him to forward is a stupid idea and likely not one that anybody with any hockey sense would entertain. You're a big time analytical guy aren't you?

Nope, not into the numbers, only +\-, why I originally said it was I read that some wanted him gone cause of his sketchy play and his new high contract that he apparently wants, I say he is a salvageable player and instead of getting rid of him because of his defensive play, maybe try him up front in some practices, if he does well, we have a scoring foreward we didn't have to give a first round for, his size is somewhat of an issue on D, that's partially why he has such a bad -, there is so much size in the league now, if you don't have size, you better have some grit and awesome speed, adapt or die. Don't get me wrong i don't want to move him up front right now, see how he does with new players and coach, this year may be a huge step foreward for the whole team, big holes were filled. I just don't like getting rid of someone if I know they can be useful in another role, other defenders have been moved up front too, he wouldn't be the first. I do have a bit of knowledge too I trained a few players who have been drafted into the dub, one won a memorial, and a few who could be drafted in the future. All my players can play any position that's what makes them effective, all can play D good and foreward better, I can guarantee one thing, they will do anything to move on to better things and when there they will do anything to stay there. Gotta have an open mind to be effective, not ignorant and close minded, and also be patient. You know unlike a little kid sitting in there parents basement who wants to trade players and draft picks like the way they trade their hockey cards. Shultz also played a few years of university behind him plus the nhl games, not a kid anymore, not many players have a worst +\- in the league, and those players won't have a long career ahead of them.

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#69 Oilfire33
August 21 2014, 01:36PM
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My answer wasn't to move Shultz either, learn to read! It was to keep what we have, everyone seems to want 70-80 point 2c's, it's not feasible, if we can get a good 60 point guy , that would work. There are two scoring wingers on line 2 and arco did a good job last year and he had a good +\- plus he lead the team in hits long after he was demoted, then there's lander who hasn't even been given a chance on a skilled line, funny thing is when we get rid of these types of players teams like Detroit always seem to make the player work out for them(cleary). There are also a few guys in the system who are there in a couple years for 3c as draise will be 2c. My point is stop trading picks away for players who may not be better than what we have. We need to stock the shelves, out of every draft only a few from every team actually made the show and with only a couple picks a year what are our chances of getting real nhlers then, especially if we trade for problematic Russians who may bolt. Whatever we spend on a player, we have to get the same back when we trade them off.

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#70 Joy S. Lee
August 21 2014, 05:38PM
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@Oilcruzer

I hear ya... but then, I still think Belov IS a player, but he clearly didn't see eye-to-eye with the coach, and that can have a serious effect on his play.

However, we aren't disagreeing... at all. What you just said is exactly what I was trying - albeit, apparently ineffectively - to say: I'd love to get a chance to see what Burmistrov could bring to the Oil, but at far less a cost than what was being discussed originally.

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#71 eel
August 24 2014, 10:57PM
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A-Mc wrote:

THis one post has more replies than all other jets nation posts combined (excluding the other ones that involve Oilersnation folks).

The city of Winnipeg needs to open their eyes to this great resource! SPREAD THE WORD

Winnipeg has some of the most savvy hockey fans on the planet. I personally, read every article written containing anything Winnipeg Jets, including what's written here on JETSNATION. I usually don't have time to explain my opinion or dissect another person's comment. Alas, I have a moment and I am motivated. Btw, this is a decent resource but there are many. Open your eyes(web browser) and try doing a little research. There are a great many forums that contain comments, great insights and debates regarding the Winnipeg Jets. Just trying to spread the word.

It's better to be quiet and have people assume your an idiot then to open your mouth and prove them right!

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