Could Burmistrov Become An Oiler?

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.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    Can someone let me know right now if we’re considering Burmistrov to be our 2nd line centre next year so I can work on finding a new team to cheer for this year?

  • If the oilers get hurt down the middle this year which you know will happen because other teams will target the centre position since they know what we all do “the oilers have no depth at centre.”

    when that happens the oil will fall down the standings to the bottom and will have another high draft pic and “POW” draft another big centre and will no longer be week at the position.

    Besides what the oilers need is a top line centre the nuge is not a proven top line guy at this point he would be better suited in the second line centre position. not to say we have anyone better suited for the position this year

    • Mike Krushelnyski

      I don’t think you have to worry about anyone targeting our players because nobody is worried about us.

      I’m not crazy about burmistrov because he hasn’t shown much offence and isn’t very big but I would take him in a heartbeat over arcobello.

      • BillHK

        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.

  • As much as I’d like to see Draisaitl have the toughest time possible cracking the line up this year, I don’t know if I’d want Burmistrov at C here, myself. Always good to come up with some outside the box ideas though, but I don’t think this is a fit.

      • Sure. I don’t think he’d be an upgrade on Arco. The Oilers need a two way guy to play that position and I don’t think Burmistrov is good enough at that role. To me he fits the usual Russian stereotype (as a person of Russian heritage, myself, I’m not saying this to be a bigot.. Just it’s the easiest way to express why I don’t think he’s a fit). He has the size but isn’t one to really use it. His offensive numbers in no way shine enough to say he’s a guy the Oil should pick up.

        Basically it to me would be addition just for the sake of addition. “We have a hole at 2c..lets throw anything there we can and pray it works”. I’d rather the Oilers keep exploring other options.

        Like I said, I like the outside the box thinking, but this just doesn’t strike me as the right player. I don’t like the suggested cost either for someone who is pretty unproven at the NA pro game.

        • is he not widely considered a good 2-way player? I’m not sure what it is that makes you say he is not good enough. Do you want him to score more? He appears ready to do so and is quite young. Do you want him to be better defensively? My understanding is that he is quite solid.

          I’m not really disagreeing, because I don’t know enough about him, but a player like Grabovski would have been a perfect fit, and from what I have come to learn about Burmistrov is that he is on the Grabovski player type track. I could easily be wrong about that, but I’d like to know why.

          • I admittedly haven’t watched a lot on him to really answer that, but what I’d read on him was that while he was used as a 2 way guy in Winnipeg, it was a square peg, round hole kind of issue. I don’t think he’s shown to excel in either facet. But I can’t answer that with certainty not having followed him closely enough and relying more on hearsay, basically, than anything. I’ve actually really read mixed reviews on his D game, so I take that with a grain of salt.

            That said though, when you look at his numbers to date, you don’t say “this is a guy who has it figured out”, and that’s probably the biggest red flag for me. It’s another hope and a prayer. I realize though that a good centre man is super hard to come by, but I just think it’s a bad fit because we are hoping that he comes in and does something we haven’t really seen yet from him.

            The goal for me is definitely to make it hard on Draisaitl to crack the opening line up, as I said, but I just hope the Oilers can try harder. Doesn’t have to be an all world player, but someone who is noticeably an upgrade on Arco? (I may over value him here, but I think he plays the game enough to allow his wingers to do what they need to do)

  • If he were to play this year in the NHL, then coming to Edm. would make more sense.

    I’d like to think the gaping hole at 2C will be filled before next year. Leon will likely be more ready than Burmistrov in 2015 and will be given that role + they’ll have Yakimov and JJ with a year under their belts in the AHL and a year to figure out if Arco and Lander can fill the 3C spot for 2015.

  • ubermiguel

    Just to clarify, does the CBA say he MUST sign with the Jets first or can they simply trade his rights?

    The Oilers are so weak at centre this would be the absolute best opportunity for him to earn an NHL job. I’d love the Oilers to get his rights for a pick and sign him to a one-year contract. If he’s already signed the return depends on his contract.

  • 916oiler

    “The Oilers want to win now, and don’t mind sacrificing their future.”

    Although they do want to win now, I think they mind sacrificing their future, a lot. Note the lack of center depth and plethora of young prospects, stars, and draft picks at their (potential) disposal.

    And ya, if this guy wants a top 6 role he isn’t going to get it at center for the Oilers. RNH + LD is the future, by a mile, by a marathon.

    There is nothing even suggesting he is interested in anyone specific – the Oilers, Canada, the Pacific Division, the Western Conference even.

  • Haha, 916oiler, i’m a writer on JetsNation. Just thought you’d enjoy the article.

    And yes Jolis, it may seem like a lot, but you buy potential, and Burmistrov is a great option at 3rd line centre at the least for the Oilers.

    • vetinari

      Admit it, Trin, you got tired of the Jets and strayed over to the oily-side? We understand. I’m a Saskatchewan guy who bleeds copper & blue but I still have a warm spot in my heart for the Jets… good luck next season and get that goaltending problem figured out, eh?

    • misfit

      How does Burmistrov’s situation compare to Nikita Filatov’s in Columbus?

      I ask because he returned a 3rd round pick from the Sens. Two prospects and a 2nd represents quite a bit more value than a 3rd.

      And I’m not so sure Burmistrov has any more perceived potential than Filatov at the time of his trade. Burmistrov had more NHL games, but their respective PPG averages are about the same at the NHL level. Filatov had outscored Burmistrov in both the KHL and AHL at the time of his trade, and both players were top 10 picks in their respective draft years.

    • 916oiler

      Ahhhh that explains the unfamiliarity. I did enjoy it, thanks for sharing.

      Not to come off as overly critical in the above comment, but it doesn’t sound like a fit for us if he wants a top 6 role.

      I like his potential etc., and the thought of him joining the Oilers is intriguing, but I doubt we would give up more assets than another team with RNH and LD in the system.