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

The Real Thrash

June 26th, 2010
7:46 am

Waddell was there because he hasn’t gone anywhere. His fingerprints are all over this.


June 26th, 2010
7:47 am

Looks like a good pick.


June 26th, 2010
7:57 am

did dudley say he thought this kid could play this year?


June 26th, 2010
8:15 am

Yes Dudley said if the kid came into camp a little heavier he could compete for a spot right away because he has very high Hockey IQ and a ton of skill.

Just Curious

June 26th, 2010
8:47 am

This kid is gutsy, talented, fast, smart, fearless and has a dream to play in the NHL….So exactly where are Waddell’s fingerprints on THIS draft pick? Isn’t this actually the perfect “Anti-Waddell” pick, as in the kind of pick Waddell would never make?


June 26th, 2010
9:13 am

As long as the ASG owns the Thrashers and Hawks….drafts, trades, signings, hirings of coaches……all of this is completley irrelevant.


June 26th, 2010
9:35 am

Dudley: The key to my decision was our thorough assessment concluding that Burmistrov is not dumb as a sack of hammers.

Spud Webb

June 26th, 2010
9:40 am

Hey, I don’t know much about this kid, can anyone comment on his chances of him helping us this year? Or is he a year or 2 away from being up with the big club???


June 26th, 2010
9:49 am

Some of you people would gripe if we drafted Crosby and traded for Ovie. And I’m not comparing this pick to either. Just try and maintain a little perspective. We have a number of high quality dmen and goalies in our system. We have a need for centers and wingers. AB was the best available at that point. Drafting for dmen or goalies would be an absolute waste of a pick.

World Be Free

June 26th, 2010
9:51 am

You can’t teach skill. Just pretend he doesn’t have a Russian last name cause he does not play like your average selfish Russian. Remember folks, Slava Kozlov is just as Russian as this kid and most of us have alotta respect for Slava.


June 26th, 2010
9:59 am

Interesting,…a different kind of Russian player (self-proclaimed none-the-less). Does he still bring the Russian skills? If AB, or Burmie, or whatever you call him, brings anything like Datsuyk it’ll be very good. If he is physical, and plays with an attitude, albeit smallish, that’ll be very good (thinking AO). Speed, that’ll be very good (Max brought me out of my seat more than a few times). Takes D-zone face-offs, plays on PK, fearless,..goes into the corners,..if the hype is true, his game is strong where Ilya’s was weak. That is a different type of Russian player,….. and a very good pick for us.

If he chooses to play in the homeland,….worse than ungood. If Russian players think of any NHL team as the Russian equivalent of “Siberia” which franchise might it be? The KHL now gives them a viable plan B on where to play.

So looks like a good pick if he stays in the west,..a big miss if he goes home.

Fan from Carolina

June 26th, 2010
10:00 am

Good pick! Not worried about size. He will grow just like Stamkos down in Tampa. If he turns out even half as well, a very good pick!

Get The Puck Out

June 26th, 2010
10:03 am

I think Dudley has a little more experience at this than anyone on this blog. You can’t say how good or bad this draft pick is until it’s camp time. Maybe he’ll suprise us. Chill.


June 26th, 2010
10:03 am

Looks like a good pick to me….I guess we will find out in a couple of years. I.D.W.T!!!


June 26th, 2010
10:07 am

I trust Dudley. He made great picks in the past, and this one shouldn’t be any different. Drop the puck.


June 26th, 2010
10:21 am

Curiously, in a supposed anti-incumbent year, most of the departing are not retiring but seeking higher office. We may recycle more than we replace. The bad news is that a frustrating 114 seats still have but one contestant. Two of them aren’t even incumbents, meaning they will affect state policy without being vetted by voters. And I have to think that we’d be better off if many had run instead for the Legislature — and cut down on the number running unopposed. Georgia’s problems are numerous. They aren’t going away. There’s too much stale thinking at the Capitol, on both sides of the aisle. New voices would be welcome.


June 26th, 2010
10:30 am

Russians usually don’t (Radulov excluded) leave the NHL for the KHL. It’s when you try and send them to the AHL and their pay gets cut by 90% that the KHL becomes a better option for them.

And as far as “coming over”, he’s already here. I have a feeling that the chance of playing for the Thrashers next year is a little carrot that Dudley is dangling to keep him focusing on just that for the rest of the summer.


June 26th, 2010
10:39 am

First off, for those who couldn’t attend the draft party, great turnout (at least a thousand peeps) and Bogo and Kaner were quite gracious not to mention excited in their comments about the trade and Big Buf. Bogo is completely jacked and it looks like he has already added 10 – 15 more lbs of muscle in off-season workouts. And while Evander hasn’t added that much, he looks more mature all-around since the start of last season. But Bogo is a beast.

Anyway, I think folks will be more than pleasantly surprised when prospect camp comes along and you see him on the ice in person. His skating is very elusive and his change of pace and deceptive change of pace when cutting / juking is very eerily reminisent of Mad Max. But reportedly he’s more physical and defensively astute like Datsyuk.
From the limited youtube video there is, it is obvious he has mad skills and the ability to break ankles and then control the puck once inside the blueline. Scouts say he has great vision and anticipation and his passing is impeccable. And if you ask me, he’s exactly the type of skill guy we need coming up thru the system as a top 6 or top line center.

Lastly, he really must be good in the F/O circle cuz his Russian natl coach gave him countless def zone F/O in the tourney and his tourney win percentage was very respectable at 53.


June 26th, 2010
10:43 am

Burmistrov making the 2010-2011 roster sounds at first like the smoke and mirrors DWads used to like to spew. But consider this- Evander Kane’s weight at draft time in ‘09 was listed in the low to mid 170s. Kane’s game was and is a power forward’s. He nonetheless managed to stick and had a creditable rookie year. Burmistrov’s game is more speed and evasion- if he can beef up as much as Evander did in his post-draft summer, making the team seems not so far-fetched. Should make prospect camp and training camp all the more interesting.

Cliff Fletcher

June 26th, 2010
10:51 am

Guys and gals, Dudley is not Waddell. Please stop making the Dudley to Waddell and Waddell to Dudley comparisons. They know and respect each other, but beyond that these 2 guys do not carry the same resumes.

Waddell said things that other GMs have said in the past. In most cases, what he said did not work out and that is why we have Dudley. I don’t care what position Don has in the organization, Dudley is the hockey guy and that’s that. It’s like talking about an old girlefirend over and over when you have moved on to another “steady” date. I am sure your new mate doesn’t like it much, so cut it out.


June 26th, 2010
11:00 am

Most of you people just spout pessimism because you’d hate to lose your credibility… you’d hate to be a sheep. Newsflash… negativity makes you a sheep in these parts partner.

This kid is not a “self-proclaimed” “different kind of Russian player”. He’s been proclaimed such by virtually every expert who has seem him play. There’s no chance of him playing in Russia because his dream is to play in the NHL. If his dream was to play in the KHL, he wouldn’t be playing junior hockey in Canada.

Because he’s Russian and because players like Kovalchuk and to a lesser extent Ovechkin, have significant holes that have been exposed, he and every other Russian prospect is going to be undervalued.

So, be positive… it’s okay, we won’t think you any less cool. Be positive because there’s no real reason to be negative with this pick. A very good case can be made that it fits the needs of the team better than more young d-men or goalies.

The biggest and most important reason to be positive is that Dudley has so far earned your support.

If you can’t find a reason to be positive about the Thrashers right now, you should stick to sitting on your porch with a shotgun, keeping kids off your lawn. Frankly, if you can’t be positive right now it’s because you’re jaded and you don’t want to be positive… and maybe angst makes you happy.

I would suggest taking a chill pill and actually waiting for Dudley to screw something up before throwing him under the bus… you’ll live longer with that philosophy.

Cliff Fletcher

June 26th, 2010
11:05 am

Tim-well stated


June 26th, 2010
11:14 am

Thank you Cliff… just picking up where you left off.

Alan R.

June 26th, 2010
11:31 am

Just to clear a few things up:

a. Burmistrov has been playing in Barrie, Ontario. He doesn’t need to “come over” from anywhere. If he doesn’t make the team this year, he goes back to Barrie. Burmistrov is fine with that — he wants to do what Atlanta wants him to do.

b. Burmistrov has denounced the KHL, and wants nothing to do with it. He is happiest playing the North American style of hockey. The KHL burned its bridges with him, and he’s reciprocated in kind.

c. A lot of GMs decided to draft based on needs in the system instead of “best available” like some of the armchairs here wanted.

Are Fowler and Campbell better? Yeah. We could very well have stolen away a D-man, re-arranged the furniture in Chicago, and found some way to inject them in our lineup this year. But, looking at our talent pool of defenseman, we don’t need any.

Hear me out, people. Look at our defense from this past year. You’ll see some solid players like Bogosian and Enstrom. You’ll see Hainsey, Kubina, and a world of others. Then, I’m sure you’ll cite something like goals against. That stat is directly related to our style of play — balls out, defense joining the rush, and the forwards not engaging in responsible play. That was a good part of our problem last year. We had, arguably, the most solid defensive corps we’ve ever assembled. However, they were misused.

With a system deep with defenseman, we were in a position to draft based on needs. Face it, guys, we needed a center. This guy is a world class center, and despite the language barrier, he already considers himself a North American. Flight risk he is not, nor is he a KHL player currently. Barrie, Ontario is a city that hosts an OHL team, after all. So please, put those thoughts to rest.


June 26th, 2010
11:41 am

Alan R., you make to much sense for the arm chair gm’s on here. If we had chosen Fowler or Campbell you would have had people that screamed what a waste of a pick. I will put my faith in the new regime, i.e., gm and coach, and take it that they know what they are doing. Great points you made Alan and it cleared up a couple of reservations I had on this pick as well.


June 26th, 2010
11:46 am

final the nhl has arrived in atl


June 26th, 2010
12:09 pm

Nice pick and will make the team as #1 or #2 center. Count on it.


June 26th, 2010
12:34 pm

Nice pick. Too bad ASG will just trade him away in a few years.



June 26th, 2010
12:40 pm


a- Kazan allowed Burmistrov to play in the CHL this season to get more ice time. He’ll return to play in the KHL next season.

b- Burmistrov has public thanked Kazan for allowing him to play overseas. P.S. Kazan is his home town.

c- Who’s saying that Fowler, Campbell or Gormely were the BPA? Some of the “experts” and fans thought that. When do you start following the draft? I think those who follow the draft over the course of the entire year have a better understanding of who’s a BPA and who’s not. The word upside is key in determining the BPA.

We don’t need any Dman? Where are the quality defenseman in the system? I count Kulda, Vish and maybe Postma. The remaining blueliner corps is nothing too special. Quantity doesn’t equal quality which is why you need many Dman in the system as possible. Nobody knows how many reach the NHL and become solid Dman. Vish may bolt to Russia if he doesn’t make the NHL soon and I doubt that Postma is anything more than a bottom/ 7th Dman.

World class center? Burmistrov will be lucky to reach Stephen Weiss’ production of today. He doesn’t have the upside, that I mentioned above. You should have drafted Tarasenko if you were interested in legit offensive production. P.S. It speaks volumes when the Blues pick/ trade up for him after all their problems with Russian prospects in the past.

Atlanta just lost a solid offensive threat in Morin and a late first & second round pick to acquire, while you just acquired an inferior winger in Aliu and (at best) a 2nd line center in Burmistrov. That’s just questionable asset management.


June 26th, 2010
12:47 pm

with the team having drafted dmen recently a forward was needed plus to be a center is even better. One thing this team lacks is solid centers. Look at the successful teams and you see they are very well set at the center position. After reading about this kid and watching the video clips on the team site I like him. If he is even close to AO that would be awesome!


June 26th, 2010
12:50 pm

If you guys get your tail twisted about everything that has happened this week……what are you going to do if this new regime and many new parts on the team take awhile to gel and work the way it’s going to? That is a very real chance, that the team takes a month or so to come together this season. We have a very good core developing, respected coach on board, and reason to be positive again. My question is, who wants to show up at the games and show some enthusiasm for the Thrashers? If DumbWad and the Octotards are your reason for not showing up, then stay away. If that is your reasoning, you should also stop commenting, crying, whining, and carrying on about that which you want to change but do absolutely nothing about. Staying away will only show the PLAYERS they aren’t appreciated. You think this place is hockey Siberia just because of the Octotards and DumbWad? If there is no one cheering, no excitement about the game at the arena, that probably has something to do with that also…..and who’s fault is that? Not DumbOctoWadTards. It’s ours, the FANS who don’t show up to watch the game we love. So let’s actually watch the team play again, like it was at the beginning, when everyone was excited about hockey. Make some noise for the boys in blue PLAYING some hockey. The last decade hasn’t been pleasant, but let’s not make it take hockey from Atlanta. You want new ownership? Would you buy this team with the lack of support it has now? If you said yes you are lying. There are FANS out there but they aren’t showing the support a team needs. I for one will be at as many games as I can, good, bad, or ugly. Hope more of you feel the same.

Alan R.

June 26th, 2010
12:54 pm

Kazan allowed Burmistrov to play in the CHL this season to get more ice time. He’ll return to play in the KHL next season.

Not true. Kazan’s exact words were “If you want to play in the NHL, then go.” It’s widely documented that Burmistrov wants to play in the NHL, and would prefer to be here. I’m really not sure where you heard that, but they’re incorrect.

Burmistrov has public thanked Kazan for allowing him to play overseas.

While throwing the entire league under the bus. Gotcha. “The KHL is for old guys. I’ll never play there.”

We don’t need any Dman? Where are the quality defenseman in the system?

You’re aware it takes time to properly develop D-men, right?

The pessimism in these parts runs rampant, apparently. I admit, I’m optimistic about Burmistrov. However, I’ve also looked deeper than the stat sheet and nationality of the player. If people are still distraught over the trade that sent Morin off, then those people have problems. Morin might be awesome. He might also be a dud. Burmistrov might also be one of those duds. Fowler too. Campbell included. Funny thing about the draft is that it’s a crapshoot. Especially after the top five.

TL;DR: Get over it.


June 26th, 2010
2:26 pm

Reach. Should have taken Campbell at 8 or traded down. Campbell is going to be a star. Not sure I love anything Dudley is doing and I like both he and Ramsay but I think this was a friend hire, Should have gone Torchetti.


June 26th, 2010
3:35 pm

Thanks Rob. Well said.

Although… a new paragraph every once in a while would make it a little easier to read.

Hockey Steve

June 26th, 2010
4:07 pm

I hate to say it, but this pick has D-Wad’s stench all over it. (flashy Russian forward) VERY surprised by this pick….

Sage of Bluesland

June 26th, 2010
4:13 pm

“…but do absolutely nothing about….”

That was a load of sheep s(&^% if I’ve ever read it…Oh, but I DO something about it: I encourage as many as I can to NOT subsidize the incompetence–incompetence that you apparently relish.

Oh well, it’s a free country…Feel free to throw your money away while I keep mine right where it should be–and that’s in my pocket and not in Don Waddell’s…

I refuse to support an organization that keeps that blustering, lisping, buffoon employed and still calling the shots. I saw him on the phone last night and couldn’t stop laughing, thinking of those foolish enough to think things have really changed!

Sure, they have…Hey, if that gets you through the night, then give that big ol’ delusion a hug and a kiss!


June 26th, 2010
4:44 pm

I’ll give this pick 3 years before I begin to declare it a bust or a success. So long as he signs here and plays here, this could be a very fine pick. And if so, I’ll give Rick Dudley the credit for it. I’m going to keep an open mind. But, let’s keep some perspective here. An 8th overall pick, for a forward, should be a Top 6 forward. And if he is, then the pick was successful. If he’s a bottom 6 forward, it wasn’t a total bust, but it wasn’t what we’d hoped. And if he cannot make the NHL, and stay there, it was a bust. And, of course, if he never comes, irrespective of how well of a player he becomes, it’s a bust for Atlanta. Hopefully, the Thrashers will be a team that Burmistrov will want to be a part of. Time will tell.

I just heard our 2nd selective give an interview with Heidi Androl, and he was very optimistic about coming to Atlanta. It seemed genuine. Then again, if a mere ‘prospect’ copped an attitude about playing in the South, or specifically in Atlanta, then Dudley didn’t do his homework. But the impression I came away with … was that this kid has potential. He spoke well. He handled himself well. I think Heidi said he was a cousin, or some relative, of Larry Murphy.


June 26th, 2010
4:57 pm

Sage? It’s sad that you CHOOSE to be negative and that it gets you through the night.

I CHOOSE optimism. I CHOOSE to believe that Dudley is making the calls and I CHOOSE to trust him. I CHOOSE to believe those who say that Burmistrov is NOT the typical Russian forward, that he is tough, gritty and defensively responsible.

I CHOOSE to be positive because I have a life, a family and being negative and wringing my hands over every little thing that with which I don’t agree takes the enjoyment out of being entertained by my favorite hockey team. The alternative is anonymously spewing venom at strangers on a blog while my blood pressure steadily rises.

1 : one (as a profound philosopher) distinguished for wisdom
2 : a mature or venerable man of sound judgment

a discontented person:
a: one who bears a grudge from a sense of grievance or thwarted ambition
b: one who is in active opposition to an established order or government

Maybe you should consider a name change.

R. Stroz

June 26th, 2010
5:07 pm

Although many of you get tired of Sage’s comments, Sage has been here since the beginning. So look at it this way, if your wife told you she would stop feeding you lies for ten years, you might be a little skeptical as well.

I’m willing to give Dudley a fair chance, but seeing Waddell on the phone before the pick last night was a disconcerting development.

R. Stroz

June 26th, 2010
5:11 pm

Sage – You could change you name to Sage of Malcontent Bluesland.

Then you could “thumb your nose” to your “fans” while “poking them in the eye.”

Lighten up everyone, you have two hands that allow you to type, I know many individuals that don’t. Keep things in perspective.


June 26th, 2010
5:16 pm

If my wife told me she would stop feeding me lies for ten years, it’s my fault for not leaving.

Staying AND b!tching is trying to have it both ways… unless you like being unhappy and abused.



June 26th, 2010
5:55 pm

If you follow a team for ten years and don’t like anything about them… you should probably stop following them. I don’t need a sad sack telling me what I should or shouldn’t like.


June 26th, 2010
6:02 pm

I was at the draft last night with my Thrashers shirt… people were staring at me like I had a third eye. Also saw John Anderson and Steve Weekes together which was awkward. It was like running into your ex-girlfriend; trying to pretend not to notice each other.

Re: Burmistrov… Dudley and the Scouts have followed him all year. The first I heard of Waddell scouting him was this past Spring. This was not his pick. If we had taken a US development kid like Campbell, I would have given you the Waddell fingerprint nonsense.

Tom Lysiak

June 26th, 2010
7:07 pm

Don’t sell “Sage” and his well-organized boycott short. Their direct efforts have resulted in a couple of ticket reps being laid off. That must really be why he hates Waddell so much. Their records parallel each other….

Thrashy Thrashy

June 26th, 2010
7:40 pm

Waddell was on the phone with the Devil. He took another 30-year mortgage out on his soul.

Thrashy Thrashy

June 26th, 2010
7:41 pm

Fact of the matter is that the Thrashers are not going to win or lose in 2010-11 because of Alex Burmistrov. They will win or lose based on the ability of Dudley and Ramsay to craft the roster and shape the team into a responsible defensive club.



June 26th, 2010
8:13 pm

Agree the pick will take time but to me a top 10 pick should end up a star. Campbell will and has already shown he doesn’t choke under pressure. That would not have been a Don Waddell pick, it would have been very, very smart. A better player than Burmistrov went 12th. They could have traded down and got him. As a Thrasher fan I hope I am wrong and he had an outstanding career.


June 26th, 2010
8:50 pm

I have that tendency to just ramble on when I get a little upset. I apologize for that. Just amazes me how many “fans” can’t see past DumbWad. When he is gone, and one day he will be, do you think he will give a rats a$$ about how we felt about him? And now that I see his immature unoriginal same old tires a$$ rant about the lisping liar DumbWad boohoo for him. How sad to be so bitter for so long about someone who doesn’t even know he exists.
Do you think your one man boycott has changed things here one bit?!?!? This B!TCHING on this blog gets not a whole heck of a lot done, unless you can come up with an IDEA that has merit and can get the attention of a LARGE group of FANS who support it, the media, and or the league. By going to the game I am supporting the PLAYERS on the team….not DumbOctoWadTards. I am watching the game that I love to watch being played. If your retarded idea of not supporting the team happens, what will be the end result? The team will be moved somewhere FANS support the good, bad, and ugly.
So if you don’t like the way the team is run, come support the PLAYERS, and voice your displeasure at those running it at the same time. THAT will show the league the FANS are here, and that they expect responsible ownership to put a quality product on the ice. How many ASG SUCKS signs have ever been down at ice level where the camera HAS to see it. Think THAT might draw some attention if it happens often enough? Don’t let DumbWad being an idiot ruin the game of hockey for you, rise above it, otherwise he’s won…….when he never even knew he was in a fight.
I know your response will be I am just a sheep blah blah blah, so save it for, well, how about forever? Unless you have something original to say.

Alan R.

June 26th, 2010
9:22 pm

Rob, be fair here.

He has about two others who boycott with him.

R. Stroz

June 26th, 2010
10:36 pm