Five Questions With … Alexander Burmistrov

Alexander Burmistrov was selected with the eighth overall pick in last year’s NHL draft and the 19 year old made the Thrashers out of training camp. The rookie played 74 games, with six goals and 14 assists. He was a minus-12.

Burmistrov missed eight games with a broken foot in February and March. The injury came in the middle of a stretch of 33 games when he failed to score a goal. He credits teammates for helping him to adjust to life in the NHL. Still learning to speak English, he credited Nik Antropov who translated for the young Russian during practices and games when the coaching staff was trying to make points.

In the next of a series of interviews with Thrashers players following the 2010-11 season, here is some of what Burmistrov had to say about his first season and what he needs to improve on for next season.

Q. How do you think your first NHL season went?

A. I think it was pretty good. I learned a lot. Maybe sometimes I played not good. I think half my games I played good, half my games I played bad. But it was my first season and I learned a lot. That is important for me right now.

Q. You see it as a good thing going forward that at such a young age you got 74 games under your belt?

A. I think it was very important for me to play a lot and so many games. I had a bad injury and missed a couple of weeks. I just try to keep going and look forward to next season.

Q. What did you learn about the NHL?

A. I think everything. Life outside the ice, on the ice, in the dressing room, everybody tried to help me. That’s very important for me.

Q. What did the coaches tell you to work on in the offseason?

A. Everything. Be stronger physically. Everything. Try more.

Q. Do you want to get bigger weight-wise, in the offseason?

A. I want to be bigger but I don’t want to be a strong guy with no skill. I want to put on a little more weight, be stronger and keep playing my game.

The series concludes this week. Coming Tuesday, Johnny Oduya.

19 comments Add your comment


May 9th, 2011
8:34 am

We need this kid to be something special…he definitely has the potential.

Michael B. Shapiro

May 9th, 2011
8:56 am

The grit and determination he shows is the way forward. He made many young mistakes, especially early in the season, but always put effort on the ice. The number of takeaways he made is fabulous. With a little more weight, strength and experience he will be a force to be reckoned with.

Sherry Taylor

May 9th, 2011
9:24 am

I’ll take an entire team of guys with his work ethic and enthusiasm and desire to play and play hard and well.


May 9th, 2011
9:44 am

“I want to be bigger but I don’t want to be a strong guy with no skill.”

This kid’s gonna be all right – he knows exactly what’s important.

As for his work ethic?

First on the ice and last off the ice … every single time, every single day.

The whole friggin’ league needs to learn from his work ethic.

I’ll never forget the picture of the arena where the Zamboni is out there resurfacing the ice prior to morning practice. There is ONE PERSON in the whole arena — Burmistrov sitting on the bench — waiting for it to finish. Says a lot, don’t it?

5 on 5 = 25

May 9th, 2011
11:44 am

Hainsey needs to take this kid under his wing and show him how to get paid with the least amount of effort.

5 on 5 = 25

May 9th, 2011
12:56 pm

I think in Atlanta we have enough small guys with no skill.


May 9th, 2011
1:17 pm

he is #8 pick and got 6 goals, #7 pick got 31, not enough to play 2 way hockey, need at least 25 goals from #8 pick, or you bust, way to go, you get 2 more years to prove, or i will consider dud drafting abilities on don level.


May 9th, 2011
1:24 pm

He’s still just a kid learning to play in the NHL so let’s give him some slack. But, he has to get better at keeping the puck in the offensive zone. He was way to easy to knock off the puck.


May 9th, 2011
1:44 pm

He’s a young player that, per team history, got rushed into the starting lineups. He’ll be a decent player, as he develops and matures as a pro. We shouldn’t expect miracles from the kid.

East Point Bob

May 9th, 2011
2:03 pm

Nice kid, great attitude, But too small and, despite effort, will never ever be much of an NHL player, too small. Need to trade his ASAP for help up front. Confidence in him becoming a solid NHL player,
as Rawhide would say… Ungood.


May 9th, 2011
2:16 pm

Yeah, there’s this thing called “growing up”, and Burmistrov hasn’t finished yet. When Pavel Datsyuk was drafted he weighed about 145 lbs. Some of you people are idiots.

Thrashy Thrashy

May 9th, 2011
2:26 pm

I’d rather have young guys with a lot of talent who can get better than a bunch of over-paid veteran stiffs whose best hockey is behind them. If you could throw the crappy ownership situation (and Waddell’s remaining presence) out of it, it would be very easy for Thrasher fans to feel hopeful about these kids. Unfortunately, we can’t just throw that stuff out. That really sucks for a fan.

Old Time Hockey

May 9th, 2011
3:07 pm

#1 pick scored 22, #2 went 11 and 11, #’s 3 and 4 didn’t make the show, #5 ,briefly, scored one. The number 7 pick from the draft for the last 10 years, according to my research, has scored a grand total of ZERO goals their rookie season. The number 8 picks from the last ten years, in their rookie years, have scored a TOTAL of 18 (one dude had 11 the other 7). Shows how unusual Skinner was last year. You can’t compare numbers with him because of that. Burmistrov is going to be a force in this league. I’ll take a team of guys with work ethic over talent any time.

Tony C.

May 9th, 2011
6:27 pm

This kid needs top6 minutes. Get a vet power-forward in FA to put the garbage in and keep the opposition honest…I am so sick of teams taking liberties with our skill guys.


May 9th, 2011
7:42 pm

Tuesday Five Questions with the beer vendor
Wednesday Five questions with the guy who wipes the seats off after the game.
Thrusday Five questions with my dog
Friday Five questions as to what else I could write to justify my position at the newspaper


May 10th, 2011
3:03 am

Burmistrov has the same work ethic as Ryan Kesler did in his first years in the NHL. It would have been better for Burmistrov to spend a couple of years in the minor leagues instead of playing in the NHL right away. If the Thrashers don’t screw up his development, he will definitely be a Selke Trophy candidate someday.


May 10th, 2011
9:48 am

I like that he said half of his season was good, half not-so-good. It’s clear he’s got perspective, or is willing to take the coach’s input to heart..or both. REALLY good sign. i read that Burmi stayed in ATL last summer after the draft and gained about 10-15 lbs in off-ice workouts. May have lost that weight during this season, tho. He seemed to fade halfway thorugh the season, then rested with the injury and had a stronger finish.

I believe him when he says he’s going to get stronger. And I think he’s serious about wanting to contribute more here. He’s young. He was probably pushed too quickly for the NHL, but he’s here and he knows now what’s expected of him. If he can stay disciplined (hard for a young guy in the city, with money to burn), then I think we’ll see good things, including more puck possession and points, from Burmistrov next season and the one after that…

Hockey Biltong

May 10th, 2011
10:02 am

When the team gels,he will gel with it. Timing is something he will learn, in passing, positioning and receiving the puck. I love his raw skills, he just needs polishing.

Jamie H

May 16th, 2011
11:07 am

He’ll be a good young player, FOR THE JETS!