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.