Capitals send Burakovsky to AHL after keeping him out of World Juniors

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After being listed as a healthy scratch in five of Washington’s last six games, Andre Burakovsky has been sent to the AHL Hershey Bears, per the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt. The 19-year-old forward is set to play in his first career AHL game tonight.

Burakovsky, who was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, hit the ground running with two goals and eight points in nine October games. He has just five points in his last 17 contests though and has seen his playing time decline lately when he has been in the lineup at all.

With that in mind it’s not shocking that the Capitals would want him to work on his game in the minors, but what makes this situation a bit more interesting is the timing. Washington announced on Monday that it wouldn’t allow Burakovsky to represent Sweden in the World Juniors from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Although the NHL holiday roster freeze will begin at 11:59 p.m. ET tonight, the Capitals will still have the ability to summon Burakovsky during that period if they wish to do so.