The Washington Capitals have traded Andre Burakovsky to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a second and third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and pending unrestricted free agent forward Scott Kosmachuk. The third-round pick sent in this trade was originally owned by the Arizona Coyotes.
This trade makes a lot of sense for both the Capitals and the Avalanche. While both teams are contenders in the NHL, Burakovsky just never found his footing in Washington despite being a very talented winger with size and skill.
This trade wasn’t something the Capitals necessarily wanted, but due to Buravkosky requesting the trade, general manager Brian MacLellan obliged and got good value in return.
At 6 foot 3 and 201 pounds, Burakovsky has always appeared to be one season away from breaking out in a big way. He performed incredibly well for the Erie Otters in his lone OHL season in 2013-14, scoring 41 goals and 87 points in 57 games after being drafted 23rd overall by the Capitals in 2013. He’d also score three goals and seven points in seven World Junior Championship games for Sweden in 2014.
At the NHL level, Burakovsky has consistently been a double-digit scorer with high-upside. Unfortunately, the Capitals simply couldn’t wait any longer for Burakovsky to reach that potential as things simply weren’t getting done in Washington.
In 328 games since 2014-15, Burakovsky has scored 62 goals and 145 points. His career-best year came in 2015-16 when he’s scored 17 goals and 38 points. Since then, he’s scored 12 goals in each of the last three seasons as well as 35 points, 25 points and 25 poins in 2016-17. 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.
For the Capitals, getting two relatively high draft picks for a pending restricted free agent who hasn’t reached his potential and wanted out is as good a return as they could have hoped for.
Burakovsky Could Benefit From A Change of Scenery
At the same time, Burakovsky is still just 24 years old and has the potential to be so much more than the results have indicated thus far. With a change of scenery in Colorado, it’s possible that Burakovsky finally takes that step forward and has the season many believe he’s capable of having.
The Avalanche also have openings in their top six on both wings as Matthew Nieto and Matt Calvert are both options to move down a line with Burakovsky slotting onto a line with Alex Kerfoot. There’s also the potential for the Avalanche to move Tyson Jost up a line, giving them a top-six of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen followed by Jost, Kerfoot and Burakovsky.
For the potential he has and the situation the Avalanche are in right now as contenders with room to improve, the investment for a player like Burakovsky makes a lot of sense.
What’s left for the Avalanche now is to figure out a new contract with Burakovsky as he just came off of a two-year deal worth $6 million. He may not want another bridge contract but that may be exactly what’s in the cards for him as he and the Avalanche try and figure out exactly what they have with each other.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.