Burmistrov sticking in KHL next year, won’t return to Jets

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Claude Noel might be long gone from Winnipeg, but that’s apparently not enough to get Alex Burmistrov back with the Jets.

Burmistrov will stick with KHL club Ak Bars Kazan next year rather than return to the NHL, agent Yuri Nikolaev told the Winnipeg Sun. Burmistrov, 22, spent last year in Russia and performed well for Ak Bars, scoring 10 goals and 37 points in 54 games, but there was some hope he’d be returning to the Jets after Noel — who Burmistrov reportedly clashed with throughout his two seasons in Winnipeg — was dismissed and replaced by Paul Maurice in mid-January.

Nikolaev did say, however, that Burmistrov will consider a return to the Jets once his two-year deal with Ak Bars concludes at the end of the 2014-15 campaign.

The eighth overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft — taken ahead of the likes of Mikael Granlund, Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko — Burmistrov had a solid sophomore campaign with Winnipeg in 2011-12, scoring 13 goals and 28 points as a 20-year-old. He looked to be part of the Jets’ foundation moving forward, but tensions with Noel proved his undoing — both Burmistrov he and Nikolaev spoke publicly about how Noel’s presence behind the bench was one of the reasons for the move to Russia last summer.

Earlier this week, the Winnipeg Sun reported on rumors of Burmistov contemplating a move back to North America. It’s worth noting that while he’s not under contract to the Jets, Burmistrov’s rights remain with Winnipeg should he return to the NHL.