Slicing and Dicing the Jets: Alex Burmistrov 2015-2016

The Winnipeg Jets missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons since the move to Manitoba, and the 14th time over 16 seasons over franchise history. The season does not end for us though at Jets Nation.

Welcome to our series where we take an analytical approach, dissecting what went wrong with the Jets 2015-2016 season and how to improve the team for next year.

We turn our evidence-based breakdown of the Jets with Alex Burmistrov’s 2015-2016 season.



Numbers include all situations including non-5v5 TOI.

With 7 goals and 21 points, Burmistrov’s scoring production was that of a fringe third-line player. It was the second lowest NHL Equivalent point per game production of his career since he was 17.

He did provide value by being one of the Jets’ best players in drawing penalties (although not quite like Nikolaj Ehlers) and being healthy for the most of the season, but the team would very much like to see his shot total and scoring increase given his icetime.


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Visuals courtesy of

Overall, we see Burmistrov’s usage fairly similar to that of Adam Lowry, with the exception of Burmistrov bouncing between lines two and three rather than Lowry’s bouncing between lines three and four. Burmistrov played on the Jets penalty kill quite regularly and did have the odd power play shift when the team had a few injuries.

Burmistrov went through a variety of linemates, with a very large variety of performance between the different lines.



Much like Lowry, again, Burmistrov struggled to perform like his historical norm or even well enough to deserve a roster spot. In fact, the easiest way to summarize Burmistrov’s season would be “like Lowry but slightly less worse.”

Burmistrov started off the season with Lowry and Drew Stafford. At first I thought it was a good mix since Lowry and Burmistrov have a history of preventing shots against, which was where Stafford struggled. What I didn’t think of was that Stafford is a fairly modest shot volume generator, while Lowry and Burmistrov are afraid to shoot the puck. The line ended up being a disaster despite actually holding possession of the puck decently often enough.

Stafford began to cheat for more ofense, Lowry was constantly late in coming back after being overly aggressive on the forecheck, and Burmistrov would overcompensate by hanging back. In addition, while Burmistrov was still gaining the blue-line effectively, he failed to look for support at the right places. The line ultimately failed.

It was interesting phenomena to watch, as some complained we were seeing the same old Burmistrov yet the results were so different than in the past. While Burmistrov has always had his fair share of warts, there was a time when Burmistrov made up for his weaknesses elsewhere. While Burmistrov did not score at impressive rates, he did help the Jets outshoot and outscore, which is actually even more important.

This was not the case for most of last season, however:


Visual courtesy of Corsica

One would note that there was a shift at the end of the 2015-16. After the trade deadline, Maurice placed Burmistrov with Mathieu Perreault and Marco Dano together. Where Burmistrov’s limited but useful skillset actually improved his linemates with significant chemistry. Maurice noted that Perreault had a great impact in teaching Burmistrov how to better use the 23-year-olds particular skills.


Burmistrov was once a player who did not score a lot, but was still useful in other areas. For most of this season though he was not helpful for the Jets even in those areas.

What Burmistrov will we see next year? If we get a return to the 2011-13 and post-trade-deadline Burmistrov, the Jets will have regained an exceptional impact bottom-six forward who could be used much like Chicago Blackhawks employs Marcus Kruger. If not, the Jets would not lose much walking away from Burmistrov in the summer of 2017.

Hopefully though we do see a bounce back, as the Jets have been sorely lacking a third line center with the team’s insistence to play Perreault on the wing. While some hope for Lowry or Copp to pass Burmistrov on the depth charts, there is little evidence they would perform better in the long run as they have been historically even worse scorers than Burmistrov at the same age:


NHLE numbers are “smoothed” out to decrease change from season-to-season.

There is still the possibility of Nic Petan being the player to develop into that 3C role…

All numbers are courtesy of Corsica and are 5v5 score, venue, and zone adjusted unless otherwise noted.


  1. Where did the goals go and come from?
  2. What happened to the Jets at evens?
  3. Where did the special teams go wrong?
  4. Adam Lowry
  5. Adam Pardy
  • #12MorrisLukowich

    Playing Burmistrov ahead of ANY OTHER CENTRE in the organization just illustrates the serious lack of depth they have at that position.

    I cannot perceive of any situation next year where they would cast this guy as a 3rd or 4th line centre.

    As bad (slow) as Lowry is, he will do much better with Stafford AND Perrault playing wing…Perrault playing centre with Lowry & Stafford on the wings makes more sense but this organization is Hell bent on turning Lowry into their 3rd line centre…so…we already know Burmi, Lowry & Stafford didn’t work

    I can’t conceive any reason Laine & Connor not being in the top 6 next year…and again,
    (thanks Chevy) things could take a huge turn if they draft a Logan Brown (Bye Lowry)

    With Armia, Dano, Tanev, Petan, Thorburn (Oh God), Peluso (wha?) as depth and Copp as 4th line centre, it would seem Burmistrov has run out of places to play….

  • #12MorrisLukowich

    Burmistrov, Telegin, like a lot of Russian born players feel they have an entitlement to play at the NHL level no matter how bad they are.

    And invariably will quit any team (north of Dallas) if they’re not getting their way and swim back to Mother Russia.

    When it was becoming obvious that NONE of the draftees were ready for prime time, I can understand why they brought this guy back. That and the fact that the ruble was suddenly worth less than toilet paper…you think that didn’t play a role in Burmistrov returning?? But the organization is sadly lacking to bring back a player who knows the rules and doesn’t care and abandons the team anyway.

    Where’s this LOYALTY thing the Jets organization are so keen on in this situation? Family? HA!…who’s? Putins? Loyalty overtakes ability…ask Stuart…

    You’d think that Burmistrov had tremendous talent in order to circumvent team structure…but he doesn’t…the net is a positive magnate and Burmistrov is surrounded by a negative field.

    Lowry isn’t THAT much worse…at least he has finish when playing with NHL calibre forwards…Burmistrov has NONE !

    This organization had BETTER hope Armia, Tanev & Dano have more potential because even after 2 years of playing at a semi-professional level and 1 year in the NHL, Burmistrov is clearly illustrating where he’s at…back in the borscht line

    NYET! Trova-ich…

    • BuffsBetter

      You entire comment shows you lack the ability to separate personal opinion from reality. But at least by making that comment, you let everyone realize it. It isn’t the 80’s anymore, maybe should get with the times. Cheers.

      • #12MorrisLukowich

        The REALITY of the situation my cushion-witted friend is Burmistrov skipped out, abandoned, deserted, vacated (insert adjective here) the team that selected him 3rd overall in the draft.

        I am disappointed the club brought back this…traitor…when there are players within this organization that will do anything to get a chance to play. If Chevy had drafted this guy we would all be saying he didn’t do his due diligence here…

        Bringing in players ala Evander Kane (another non-Chevy pick) does not exactly set the team loyalty standard does it..?…ask BUFF…

        And you’re a bit confused about the 80’s…Russian players DEFECTED to the (Canada/US) NHL back then…NOW they just hop on a plane & go back whenever the mood strikes them


        • Burmistrov was a free agent. He didn’t abandon anyone, he choose to go home. You do realize he moved to Canada in 2009 to play with the Barrie Colts. His sole objective was to play hockey in the NHL.

          He wasn’t drafted 3rd overall by the way, he was actually drafted 8th & it was the Thrashers organization that put him on their roster in his draft year. In retrospect another year in junior may have done wonders for him. Hawerchuk took over in Barrie the year Burmistrov went pro. That could have led to an improved Burmi, but one has to wonder what effect Burmi’s presence on that team would have had on Scheifele’s ice time & development.

  • Burmi and Lowry were disappointing this last season, especially Lowry and one has to wonder what the hell happened there? Certainly PoMo cooled on his praise for Lowry…

    On a side note Andrew Ladd generated a bit of ink recently but all of it was very speculative in nature…what will he fetch I wonder…

  • FishWhiskey

    Wow! What a beautiful thing to watch! The Penguins win the cup!

    I came to this site because I love what you math heads have done with Analytics. But hockey will always be much more and we should never forget that.

    Motivation, courage, character, intuition and shrewd management will always be an equal force in making a champion.

    I hope that the voices of the new school and the old school can come together here and forge a better dialogue about what makes hockey the greatest game on the planet.

    • FishWhiskey

      Oh, and just so I don’t get too far out of character.

      Any fool who thinks that Alexander Burmistrov (hope I spelled that correctly so nit wits aren’t confused) is an NHL calibre player should really consider following a new sport. Angry Birds may be more to your liking.

      I have had serious hockey people laugh in my face that the Jets brought him back. Even the Russians benched him at the World Championships for doing his fools imitation of hockey.

      If your unhealthy obsession with Burmi persists, despite all evidence to the contrary, then please sign up with NAMBLA. It is the place for your kind. And yes, that includes you Garret, who’s opinions I otherwise respect.

      Ps. Did anyone see a Burmistrov type player on the Penguins tonight? No? I thought not.