Photo: Glenn Gervais

Washington Capitals first-round pick Andre Burakovsky has been on a roll lately. With an eight-game point-scoring streak, the 18-year-old Swede is now tied for ninth in the OHL in goals (15) and tied for 18th in points (25).

In Sunday night’s 7-1 thumping of the Sarnia Sting, the crafty winger scored three goals for his first career hat trick in the OHL. With one more goal in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over the Oshawa Generals, that’s a four-goal weekend. Burakovsky also scored the game-winner in both games, giving him a league-leading five GWGs on the year. That’s remarkable.

Erie vs Sarnia

15 seconds into the above video, Burakovsky scores on the rebound after Stephen Harper’s attempt is stopped by Taylor Dupuis. This goal put the Otters up by two early in the second. At 0:28, Burakovsky scores off a wonderful curl-and-drag move, giving Erie a commanding four-goal lead by the time the game reached its mid-point. At the 0:38 mark we see the powerplay goal that restored Erie’s four-goal lead again.

Here’s a better look at Burakovsky’s second goal of the night. Look at that patience. Wow.


GIF by welshhockeyfan

Erie vs Oshawa

At 0:20, Burakovsky pick-pockets the defenseman in the neutral zone before firing the puck to the corner.

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  • Jack Conness

    I DO NOT want to jump the gun but just step back and think about it. Burakovsky and Kuznetsov. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will. I understand Burakovsky still needs some time to develop and who knows when, if ever, we will see Kuznetsov in a Caps uniform, but these guys are EXCITING.

    Having a team with Ovi, Backstrom, MoJo, Burakovsky, Kuznetsov, Wilson, Latta, etc. could be absolutely amazing. But like I said, lets not jump the gun here. We have no idea how everyone will pan out and who will still be around. But I am real excited about the future.

    We just need to draft some legit defense defensemen. We need a D-man who can totally shut down the other team.

  • Here I’ll keep you somewhat grounded on Burakovsky. I have not seen a complete game of his yet. Offensively he looks great in these highlights, but can he forecheck? Can he backcheck and can he play defense? If he can do those types of things, then you’re allowed to get really excited.

    Consider this: Stan Galiev and Burakovsky have the same type of hands, but Galiev’s two years removed from juniors and still in the ECHL because he struggles with the other things. Over the season, I’m going to see if Fedor can grab video and we can analyze the other parts of Burakovsky’s game, because then and only then, do I think you really start to seeing the whole picture and how he’d work in the NHL.

    He definitely has a lot of talent though, and he’s going to have a lot of confidence going into next year. It’ll be interesting to see if he pushes for a roster spot in Washington.

    In regards to Kuzya, I really think his skill and passing ability is going to make a difference immediately. Again, he just has to be here.

    The Caps definitely have some good kids in the pipeline.

  • Jack Conness

    I totally agree. Thanks for the response. I guess on the surface, Burakovsky is really exciting. From the small sample size we have, he could possibly be something special, but who knows.

    And hopefully when Kuzya comes over at the end of his season, who are the Caps going to move? Is there anyway they could move Laich or Brouwer? Will they?

  • No problem!

    I honestly don’t think they will need to move anybody. Maybe somebody gets sent down if everybody’s healthy. But there’s room to maneuver there without necessitating a trade of a veteran.

  • Jack Conness

    How so? I feel like it is a logjam already with Fehr out of the lineup. I am not sure where Kuzya would fit in.

  • William

    I agree on Kuzya. I think the hype is very much justified from my viewing of Traktor. I know there is an overwhelming cloud of skepticism about him coming over, but I am fairly confident he will come after the Olympics this year. Really the sky is the limit for him.

    I Think Ian is right about Burakovsky-There are many offensive talents like Galiev who have difficulty adjusting to the requirements of the pro game. Of course this does not disqualify these players, but much is needed to be an nhler.

  • Chris Cerullo

    To be honest with you I expect someone to be moved regardless of Kuzya’s arrival. The logjam and the questions we have had on the blue-line we’ll probably necessitate a move. I could see a Brouwer, Laich or Fehr moved.

  • Pat Magee

    Who’s roster spot does he get? The top 9 is pretty crowded right now…. Doesn’t make it easier with a coach that’s super anal about what handedness you are!

  • Chris Cerullo

    Luckily he’s a lefty shot so he could potentially play the LW with Ovechkin and Backstrom. Erat’s ice time however, will likely suffer yet again since this team has a stupid obsession in trying to make Brooks Laich a top 6 player.

  • Jack Conness

    Agreed. I have always liked Brouwer and Laich but it may be time for them (especially their contracts) to move on.

  • Graham Dumas

    Super-relevant hockey comment: that pic makes him look like a cross between the kid from Freaks and Geeks, and the last scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey when the dude’s hurtling through that canyon of light beams.

  • Fedor

    He plays very competitive defense, like all Swedish players. He’s not a forechecker, more a backchecker. He saved Erie a few times in the game I watched, using his speed to bother the shooter or poke check from behind. Not a defensive player, but not a liability, either.