Updated: Thrashers select Burmistrov

With the No. 8 overall pick, the Thrashers selected Alexander Burmistrov.

I wanted to get this up, so you folks can talk about it. I will update after talking to GM and selection.

UPDATE: Dudley was really good talking about Burmistrov. Here’s the transcript of our quick phone interview:

“We look for three things in our players – character, intellect or hockey sense and speed. He’s got all three. He probably ranks a nine (out of 10) in all three of those categories. He’s probably the smartest player in the draft. If he’s not the smartest he’s one of the two or three smartest in the draft. He has wonderful skills.”

“He played on an extremely good team in Canada and became a speed guy very quickly there. He took most, if not all, of the defensive zone draws. In any kind of critical game or situation, he was the guy that was out there defensively. He’s also a great offensive player. There is so much to like about this player. We’ve liked him from the start of the year and it went up as the season went along because he got better. Great penalty killer. He’s got all kinds of great grit and character. He’s a kid that was 160 pounds when the season ended and he’s now 175 pounds. He understands where he has to go perfectly. I have to tell you, if he gets to 195 pounds, he could be very, very special. He reminds on a lot of Datsyuk in Detroit and that’s high praise. He’s actually got the kinds of skills that a player like that has and the I.Q. that a player like that has on the ice.”

“We targeted this player from Day One and we had some offers to move down in the draft. We didn’t think where those offers came would guarantee that we would get this player. If we knew for sure if we dropped [Burmistrov would be available], we probably might have done something. But we were not going to go by this player and have someone take him a few picks later. We weren’t going to let that happen.”

“I actually think he will compete for a roster spot. There are two factors. He’s not a big man yet, he’s now 175 he might be 185 by the time training camp rolls around. But the two things are the ability and the hockey sense. I got to believe that when Craig Ramsay watches this kid in training camp, he’s going to be excited. He’s one of those players that you can tell understands what he needs to do immediately. He reads so well with the puck and distributing the puck. He’s a pretty complete player.”

When I asked about his previous comments about wanting to get into the second round on Saturday, he said simply: “I expect we will have a second-round pick tomorrow.”

For those keeping score, at least I am, he was one of the five I said could go to the Thrashers.

Here is the capsule I did on Burmistrov:

Alexander Burmistrov

Position: center

Age: 18

Height: 5-11

Weight: 157

Team: Barrie, Ontario Hockey League

Last year’s stats: Scored 22 goals for Barrie. Finished regular season with 65 points (43 assists) in 62 games. Also had 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 17 playoff games. Represented Russia at the Junior World Championships, scoring four points (three goals, one assist).

Rank: No. 11 among North American skaters by Central Scouting; No. 12 in TSN rankings

Central Scouting report: “He’s like a water spider out there on the ice. Light on his feet, but he’s got a venomous strike like a snake when he goes on the offense. Speed and agility, great fakes and he’ll bring players, fans, alike out of their seats. I’d compare him with a [Alexei] Kovalev, [Sergei] Samsonov or [Maxim] Afinogenov.” — E.J. McGuire

150 comments Add your comment

Telfo

June 25th, 2010
8:27 pm

i like it. though i think we could have moved down and still gotten him a few picks later

RazorCatchPrey

June 25th, 2010
8:28 pm

Gut reaction is that this is a disaster. How do you pass up Fowler AND Campbell for a Russian who might stay in the KHL for his entire career? Dudley just can’t stand to be predictable and it just shot us in the foot.

Big Shooter isn’t around a computer right now but passes along his despair as well.

Telfo

June 25th, 2010
8:29 pm

he already plays in the CHL. no chance he goes to the KHL

Goalies this high are a risk and we have a TON of defense prospects

Bobo-bogosian

June 25th, 2010
8:34 pm

we needed a center like this, hes god a high hockey IQ and is defensivly aware. give him a year or 2 and gain some weight and he would be a solid 3rd line center. agreed we could have moved down but we couldnt risk him going earlier. When Niederrider(sorry for the spelling) went then we didnt have much options and he was the best thing left. Dudley had to play the hand he was dealt and did fine. his skillset comparison is that of Pavel Datsuyk

Tincup9

June 25th, 2010
8:39 pm

burrito

June 25th, 2010
8:51 pm

The only thing that scares me is that DW was there and on the phone. I hope he isn’t having actual “input” into any move this organization makes. I trust in Duds, he’s built two Cup winners while fans of the Thrahers and DW haven’t built any.

Sara

June 25th, 2010
8:53 pm

Found this article out of Barrie on Burmistrov – quite good.

http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=3000711

Afinogenov

June 25th, 2010
8:53 pm

Ya, Burmistrov reminds me of a young me. Good pick. Let him skate wild behind big Buff like a wylie scatback behind a pulling guard. Sell THAT to the SEC crowd and Philips will rock.

da' boomer

June 25th, 2010
8:56 pm

I almost wept when I saw D-wadds ugly mugg at the draft table. I pray that he was only there because they had any empty seat to fill and had NOTHING to do with the selection.
Sort of like the pick. Let’s get this kid some biscuits and gravy and fatten him up a little.

KICKSAVE

June 25th, 2010
8:57 pm

@RCP,DO YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE YOU SPOUTOFF! THIS KID STATED THAT HIS DREAM WAS/IS TO PLAY HIS CAREER IN THE NHL NOT IN RUSSIA!! HE’S A DIFFERENT KIND OF RUUSKEE!!

KICKSAVE

June 25th, 2010
9:01 pm

THANK YOU SARA FOR THAT STORY!! IT PROVE’S WHAT I SAID WAS TRUE IN A STORY I HAD READ EARLIER!!

Tincup9

June 25th, 2010
9:03 pm

Nice link Sara, thank you

Dunwoody_joe

June 25th, 2010
9:04 pm

Nice choice but looks like he’s going back to Russia: http://www.thescoutingreport.org/12-alexander-burmistrov-2010-scouting-report/

How do the Thrashers pass on Gormley or Fowler?

DrewDawg

June 25th, 2010
9:05 pm

This was a freakin gift with Cam Fowler still on the board and we blew it!

Big Shooter

June 25th, 2010
9:05 pm

Oh thank, according to one comment, we picked a guy who could be a solid 3rd line center with the #8 pick. If you honestly believe that is how to use a top 10 pick… A third line center? Don’t know what to say. I don’t know what he will turn out to be. A third liner… or more or less than that. All I know is we passed on the best defenseman in the draft and the best goalie. Nobody can convince me we are SOOO good we can’t still take the best player available. Fail. Hope I’m wrong and if so will gladly say it. Time will tell. Everyone still in love with ‘Duds’?

Chris

June 25th, 2010
9:12 pm

That National Post story is a good write-up of Burmistrov here.

I like the pick after reading that.

Big Shooter

June 25th, 2010
9:13 pm

Kicksave – RCP can’t be bothered with homework!! Come on man, are you crazy!!!

KICKSAVE

June 25th, 2010
9:20 pm

THIS PICK KINDA ANSWER’S THE 1 YEAR OFFER TO MAXIM AFIN. OR AM I WRONG??!!

Collin

June 25th, 2010
9:23 pm

This kid is going to be a player, exactly the kind of player we need on this team. I trust Dudley with any pick he makes, he has scouted this crop of prospects more than probably anyone…. gotta love it.

Paminski

June 25th, 2010
9:24 pm

Bah. Burnt out on Russians.

DrumMaster

June 25th, 2010
9:25 pm

East Point Bob

June 25th, 2010
9:27 pm

Disaster from the start… We will never see this kid in Atlanta, and why did we pass on the two solid D-Men ? Guess it was because Waddell is still running the sinking ship. This was a complete disaster and a wasted pick.

BlueSpark

June 25th, 2010
9:43 pm

So where will Burmistrov be next season? Rumors say KHL, and as I understand it he can’t play in the AHL since he played in the CHL (you need to be 20 or have 4 years of CHL).

So it’s OHL or KHL?

Joe Friday

June 25th, 2010
10:00 pm

Never pass on the best available player and make a reach for need (center).
That has waddell written all over it.

With waddell out here and at the table working the phones, is there anyone left still suffering under the delusion that he’s not still in charge?

Matt the Brave

June 25th, 2010
10:01 pm

Oh wow, the AJC actually had something up on the front page. Granted, you had to really search for it, but amazing!

Honestly, do you think that the Thrashers would be more palatable to Atlantans if the AJC would actually support them like they do the Dawgs, Falcons, Braves, and Hawks?

Afinogenov

June 25th, 2010
10:07 pm

you people would have said, ” that Wayne Gretzky guy is too small and looks like a nine year old. Won’t amount to a hill of beans. “

tyrone shoelaces

June 25th, 2010
10:07 pm

“I think I’m a different player, not the same as many Russian guys,” Burmistrov says. “I play tough. I look like I’m skinny, but on the ice I’m strong.”

Kids got chops

Collin

June 25th, 2010
10:07 pm

Joe.. a reach? This kid is a major talent, he was the best player available but only dropped to us because he is Russian.. well Dudley does his homework, he knows the kid wants to play in the NHL more than anything.

Sara

June 25th, 2010
10:13 pm

Joe Friday – given how far Gormley and Fowler fell, a lot of GMs decided to go for need over best available.

JR

June 25th, 2010
10:15 pm

who announced the thrashers’ pick? is dudley publicity shy?

Sara

June 25th, 2010
10:17 pm

JR – pretty sure that was Dan Marr, our head scout. And yes, Dudley is.

Duder

June 25th, 2010
10:20 pm

Sara is correct.

sisu

June 25th, 2010
11:16 pm

I think we should have taken MIKAEL GRANLUND instead, he has been compared to Saku Koivu, Jari Kurri and Teemu Selanne…hope this works out….

JSS

June 25th, 2010
11:24 pm

If he wins draws like Datsuk used to during Detroit’s run; he is ahead of the game… Speed is never a bad thing!

Chainshaw

June 25th, 2010
11:29 pm

Sisu – Are you still in a haze from that huge plate of fried food that you just ate? This was a great pick.

Brendan

June 25th, 2010
11:30 pm

As long as this Burmistrov actually comes here, and signs here, unlike Ilya Nikulin (apologies for the mere mentioning of his name), then this could be a very nice pick. Of course, I have to wonder … does he play defense, too? As long as the answer is, “yes,” I’ll be satisfied. I don’t ask him to be a Selke candidate.

I do agree, however, with Joe Friday and others who opined, “How do you pass on the best available player at your draft position?” This is my philosophy, right or wrong. If I had 4 All-star Centers, and Wayne Gretzky’s name is still on the board when I pick, I take Gretzky at the draft,” as an overexaggeration of the point. My draft day philosophy is … “Take the best available player, irrespective of need, based on draft position.” Obviously, there are exceptions to that rule. Those exceptions PROVE the rule. But it’s not a hard and fast rule.

The way I see this is … a Center is bound to get here faster than a blueliner. That’s just how it goes. If this kid can make it in the NHL, with all the attributes that Dudley claims, then how can I be disapointed? But if he opts for a career elsewhere, and I don’t care where the ELSEWHERE is, then this is blown pick, and must be declared as such. Stop. We’re not there, yet. He very well may come and play here, and do well here. And if so, CREDIT must be given to the organization for this decision. Likewise, if he doesn’t, let there not be ’sugarcoating’ of the events that took place today. Cam Fowler was on the board, at pick # 8.

For me, my fear was that Dudley would trade the pick. He didn’t do that. So, I am clapping. It was right to pick at # 8. Time will tell if Atlanta got the best player, or if … in 20/20 hindsight, we missed out on some gems. Because “drafting is an inexact science,” I factor in ‘totality of circumstance’ when making the evaluation, years down the road. Back in 1999, I didn’t think that we’d blown the 1st overall pick with Stefan. Could we have wound up with one of the Sedins instead?, “Sure, it’s possible,” but it seemed clear that Henrik and Daniel wanted to play together. So, maybe Sedin never signs, and re-enters the draft?” I chalk that one up to ‘misfortune.’ But it didn’t seem ‘utterly stupid’ at the time. Segue to the 2005 draft, that seemed stupid to keep moving backwards. I advocated taking a shot at # 8, even if it turned out badly. In 2002, I never thought a goaltender selection was wise, when “equal or better talent” was there for the taking, that could be ready to play quicker than Lehtonen.

Since the Draft isn’t over yet, I cannot and will not assign Dudley/Waddell a grade. Let’s see what tomorrow holds. Then let’s see what we did in terms of qualifying offers to RFAs Little, Bergfors, Pavelec, Mannino, Eager, etc.

Warren Shaw

June 25th, 2010
11:31 pm

Cam Fowler is a great prospect but I have to trust Dudley to fill in the holes that have the biggest leaks. The Thrashers need a centerman badly and this kid can play hockey. I liked Connolly but since he wasn’t available by the time Atlanta selected, Alexander Burmistrov wasn’t a bad choice.

B. Thenet

June 25th, 2010
11:35 pm

We have needed an elite C in the system for a long time. I like the pick.

kovyarmy

June 25th, 2010
11:58 pm

This was a great pick. Even with Fowler on the board and Campbell (who I find way more tempting) we were taking a foward. We have a bunch leaving as FA, traded Morin and that was our least deep position in the minors. A wing actually would have been more ideal. This kid kills penalties, takes every big face off and can fly up the ice. Here is a quote from an interview from Hockey Futures 14 games into the Barrie season, they interviewd him in russian and translated. I don’t have a secret, I simply dream about playing in the NHL and the last two seasons in Russia I tried playing in North American hockey style, it helped me adapt to the Canadian style. This says it all. This kid is going to be special.

alex

June 26th, 2010
12:09 am

we undestand that a a risk pick (remember nikulin) on other hand i think if last name this kid been instead of burmistrov something like “burney” he might be ranked above fowler. beliving dud, but need also little luck. hope this going to work perfectly.

Wayne stuck in AL

June 26th, 2010
12:12 am

Any news on the assistant coach situation?

Yeov Littlefaith

June 26th, 2010
12:30 am

Seriously people…. chill.

Getting your nads tied in a knot over things that haven’t yet happened (like Burmistrov opting to play in Russia or not living up to everything that everyone in the know has to say about him… or even Dudley screwing up his first Thrasher draft for that matter) will move up the expiration date on your birth certificate.

Dr. Littlefaith recommends that, for the sake of your health, you subscribe to the following health regimen:

1) Keep things in perspective (hockey is a sport… you know, entertainment)

2) Because hockey is entertainment, chill and let the people newly in charge of your favorite entertainment franchise fail first… then throw them under the bus

3) Let go of your desire to see DW’s head on a stake outside Philips arena

4) Embrace the positive vibes that are resonating in Blueland. Being positive doesn’t mean you’re weak… really!

Dan

June 26th, 2010
12:34 am

great pick by dudley…. alex will sign here and i really do think he makes the team. one more foward and a goalie and we are ready to go… i have a feeling ponikarovski is coming here….

alex

June 26th, 2010
12:40 am

sorry, but i want to add. you all thrashers draft experts. check please all mr “sulky” picks for last 3 – 4 years, before he got promotion to president. i think no russian been taken even in late rounds just 0, because he got scared to dead with nikulin and zubarev. so my opinion this pick is purely duds maybe with don in opposition (check his face on the stage). will see what happens. go thrashers

Gordie H.

June 26th, 2010
12:55 am

kracker

June 26th, 2010
1:17 am

Sara – Deliciously understated but lethal jinger – yeah, all those GMs were all wrong! For how many picks? 10 or 12?

kracker

June 26th, 2010
1:18 am

sry – should read zinger

Acer

June 26th, 2010
5:28 am

I support those people who think that Burmistrov wasn’t the BPA at this point. My
biggest issue with this pick is the relative lack of upside. Burmistrov isn’t projected to be a difference maker + it will take 5-7 years before he starts producing. All under the consideration that he’ll play in the NHL and come over (and not leave within 2-4 years.)

Vladimir Tarasenko was the best Russian in this draft. I take him over Burmistrov.

Dudley should have traded down or taken Granlund at 8.

Putting On The Foil

June 26th, 2010
6:31 am

Once the Isles took Niederreiter, I thought this was the next best pick. Feed this kid some good ole Ga. cooking fatten him up and he may surprise the naysayers.

Season Ticket Sonny

June 26th, 2010
7:39 am

One name to always keep in mind: DON WADDELL.