Friday night the Atlanta Thrashers used their eighth overall pick in the NHL entry draft to select Alexander Burmistrov of Kazan, Russia. NHL.com’s Central Scouting ranked him 11th going into this weekend’s draft and list him at 5’-11” and 157 lbs.
Last season he played for the Barrie Colts of the OHL and scored 22 goals and 43 assists in 62 games played.
“He’s not a big man yet”, general manager Rick Dudley said of Burmistrov. “He’s now 175and 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 exciting”.
HockeysFuture.com lists Burmistrov’s main abilities as, “speed and his playmaking ability. He is probably one of the more electrifying players in his age group, having the ability to create offensive opportunities when none might be obvious. Burmistrov’s lack of size could hinder him at the pro level, but he passed his first test in North America by turning in a successful season in the OHL.”
Director of NHL Central Scouting E.J. McGuire says of the Thrashers’ first round pick, “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”. Continuing, McGuire added, “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”.
According to Barrie head coach Marty Williamson, Burmistrov has a nice combination of European finesse and North American toughness. “He’s got European skill in a North American body and mindset,” Williamson says. “His skill level is phenomenal, but he’s a tough kid. His inner toughness is unbelievable.”
For those of you out there in the blogosphere who fear Burmistrov will bolt home to the motherland to play in the KHL…I honestly don’t think he’ll be pulling an Ilya Nikulin on us anytime soon. Consider his comments recently reported by Christopher Botta of NHL.fanhouse.com.
When will Burmistrov play in the NHL?
Total Voters: 111
“I really hate the KHL. I really, really hate it. It’s for old guys”, Burmistrov said of the Russian league. “I don’t want anything to do with the KHL for a long, long time…maybe ever”.
So, the question in Thrasherville today should not be “will he play in the KHL?” as much as it is “will he play in the NHL?”…or at least when it comes to this coming season.
My initial response would be, no…not this year. Burmistrov needs to hit the weight room, add some muscle to his frame before we see him in a Thrashers uniform. That plus there is this guy named Patrice Cormier that Dudley is really high on, and I think we’ll see him with a real shot at cracking the lineup this fall. If he does, then we’ll have such centers as Nik Antropov, Rick Peverley, Jim Slater, Cormier and Todd White on the roster. In addition, Bryan Little can also play the pivot.
So, I think Burmistrov will get a year, maybe two, to develop.
Saturday’s 2nd Through 7th Round Updates
The draft will continue this afternoon and I’ll update here as the Thrashers make their picks. The Thrashers have five more picks in the draft as of now… No. 87 in the third round, No. 101 in the fourth , Nos. 128, 150 in the fifth and 158 in the sixth round.
But as Chris Vivlamore reports, it’s likely Rick Dudley and the Thrashers aren’t done dealing.
“I expect we will have a second-round pick [Saturday],” Dudley said.
3rd Round Pick: With the 87th overall pick in the third round, the Thrashers select 6’-3” 186 lbs. Canadian defenseman Julian Melchiori of the CCHL.
This draft pick was obtained by way of Montreal when Mathieu Schneider and Atlanta’s 3rd round pick in 2009 was dealt to the Canadiens in February of 2009. Anssi Salmela also came this way in that deal.
4th Round Pick: With the 101st overall pick in the fourth round, the Thrashers pick select Ivan Telegin, a 6’2: 194 lb. Russian left wing who plays with Saginaw of the OHL.
5th Round Picks: With the 128th overall pick in the fifth round, the Thrashers take Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel, a 6′-1″, 169 lb. Swedish goalie.
With the 150th overall selection in the fifth round, the Thrashers pick Canadian Yasin Casse, a 6’-3” 210 lb. right wing who plays for Des Moines of the USHL. This selection was obtained from the Chicago when the Blackhawks traded for San Jose’s 6th round pick in 2009 that Atlanta had previously acquired.
6th Round Pick: With the 158th overall pick in the sixth round, The Thrashers selected Kendal McFaull. He’s a 6’-2” Canadian defenseman who plays with Moose Jaw of the WHL.
Extra 6th Round Picks Obtained: The Thrashers made a deal to get a pair of extra 6th round picks…they give up next year’s fifth rounder. With 160th overall pick, they took Tanner Lane, 6’-2” high school center from Minnesota. With the 169th pick they chose Sebastian Owuya, 6’-3”, 194 lb. Swedish defender who plays with the Timra JR squad.
The 160th had belonged to the New York Islanders and the 169th had belonged to the L.A. Kings.
7th Round Pick: The Thrashers picked up a seventh round pick, the 199th overall. With it they took Canadian defenseman Peter Stoykewych. He’s 6’-2”, 188 lbs. And plays with Winnipeg South of the MJHL.
I believe that pick also belonged to L.A.