Alexander Burmistrov won’t play for the Arizona Coyotes tonight in Vancouver, but the 25-year-old forward could be in the lineup this weekend, once he gets his visa sorted out.
Coyotes GM John Chayka is looking forward to seeing what he’s got, after Burmistrov was claimed off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.
“He’s a guy our scouts for a long time have identified as someone they think has got more potential than what he’s shown,” Chayka said Tuesday, per the Coyotes website. “(Claiming him) was unanimous across the board with our scouts, which is actually fairly rare.”
That’s interesting, because Burmistrov has yet to score his first goal of the season. He played 23 games for the Jets and managed just two assists.
Granted, he didn’t get a ton of ice time, and he played mostly with tough guy Chris Thorburn and rookie Brandon Tanev. The Jets didn’t have a top-six spot for him, now that youngsters Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers are cemented in scoring roles.
“Alex and I had a number of conversations about what he was hoping to have here, I just had other players ahead of him and the role he was looking for wasn’t here,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said, per CBCNews.ca. “So he’ll get a chance then to go and kind of reinvent … maybe not reinvent himself, maybe he gets that opportunity he’s been looking for to go and play with some of the top guys and get some power-play minutes.”
Burmistrov does have talent. That’s why he was drafted eighth overall in 2008. However, he’s only managed 30 goals in 298 NHL games, and most of those came when he was younger, before he went to the KHL for two years.
A pending restricted free agent, Burmistrov may be headed back to the KHL if he doesn’t find his game in Arizona. The Coyotes have nothing to lose by giving him a shot. Already 15 points back of a wild-card spot, they’ll need a miracle to make the playoffs.