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Colorado Avalanche trade for Andre Burakovsky

Avalanche pick up another forward in exchange for a couple draft picks

NHL: Washington Capitals at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few years, Joe Sakic and the Colorado Avalanche front office have proven in they like to take a risk on buy-low candidates from other teams. Friday afternoon, the team took another chance on a young player when they traded for 24-year-old Andre Burakovsky from the Washington Capitals.

A former first-round pick in 2013, Burakovsky is a guy that has been a bit of a disappointment in Washington but the big winger has a world of talent and many believe that he could thrive in the right situation.

In exchange for Burakovsky, the Avalanche surrendered their 2020 second-round pick, the third-round pick they received in the Carl Soderberg trade as well as AHL forward Scott Kosmachuk — a trade that was broken by Ryan Clark of The Athletic early this afternoon.

Burkovsky can play with great speed, he’s also shown to have very good hands and goal-scoring instincts. He’s shown flashes of being a high-end second line winger, but consistency has eluded through the early part of his career. He is a big body that can play either wing position. The biggest knock on his game seems to be that he is weak on the puck and doesn’t use his size the way you’d hope. That said, he is effective in all three zones and is a player has a bigger impact on the game than the raw point totals suggest. He is a very good passer and has very strong zone entry numbers. Acquiring a player like this speaks to Sakic’s willingness to lean on Arik Parnass and the analytics team within KSE.

A bit overpriced, Burakovsky is currently a restricted free agent that received a $3.25 million qualifying offer from the Capitals. He also has arbitration rights this summer, though the Avalanche likely made the trade planning to sign him before arbitration. This trade shows that the Avalanche have found a younger and faster player to fill the cap space that was used on Soderberg last season.

Though his point totals are underwhelming, Capitals fans chalk his production issues up to two things:

Burakovsky’s struggles in Washington were compounded by two factors: injuries and a lack of ice time. He suffered two broken hands that kept him out of significant chunks of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons and has never seemed to recover his pre-injury form. In the meantime, Washington’s forward depth has only grown stronger, causing Burakovsky to be relegated to the third and fourth lines this season when he’s playing at all, which has taken its toll on his production and his confidence.

A second and third round pick seems a little steep for a player that hasn’t lived up to expectations but if Coach Bednar can put him in the right situation, there is a ton of untapped potential. Burakovsky is expected to be given an opportunity to win a spot in the top-six this season. He’s the kind of player that could look very good next to J.T. Compher in the middle-six.

This trade comes along with an added bonus:

As we near the opening of the free agency period, Joe has proven he’s not content sitting on his hands. This is the second major trade in a week and we should expect a few more significant roster moves before the front office goes on vacation in August.


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