Sounds like the Washington Capitals got what they wanted from Andre Burakovsky.
Burakovsky, the club’s first-round selection (23rd overall) at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has reportedly signed his entry-level contract with the Caps, meaning he’ll leave Sweden to play in North America next season.
News of the signing comes from MrMadhawk.se — a Swedish site dedicated to SEL club Malmo, where Burakovsky has played since 2009-10 — in which the 18-year-old confirms he signed a three-year tender with Washington.
Here’s the translation of the interview, from Caps site Russian Machine Never Breaks:
What happens now?
Burakovsky: I’ll come to camp in September and try to break through as quickly as possible. I can play in the AHL and I can go to Erie. It’s up to Washington now, they’ll decide what’s best for me.
When did this come up?
Burakovsky: It was a while ago. My agent Patrik Aronsson has worked hard to solve it and they were eager to bring me over. It shows they believe in me and it will be great to move over there.
Do you expect to play in the NHL as soon as this year?
Burakovsky: I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe I can do something like what [former Caps draftee] Filip Forsberg did at the end of last season [with Nashville, playing in five games].
I’m going over in September, then we’ll take it from there.
Burakovsky is eligible to play at the OHL, AHL or NHL level next season because he spent last year in the Allsvenskan, the second tier of the Swedish hockey ladder.
The Caps are high on Burakovsky — his father, Robert, played 23 games for the Ottawa Senators in 1993-94 — and were keen to get him to North America this season, with either Erie (who hold his OHL draft rights) or Hershey, the club’s American League affiliate.
Update: Burakovsky has committed to playing with OHL Erie next season, the team has announced.