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Photo Credit: NHL.com

Canucks Sign Alex Burmistrov to a One-Year Deal

The Canucks have been one of the league’s busier teams this morning, signing their fifth player of NHL Free Agency: a $900,000 one-year pact with Russian winger Alex Burmistrov.

If the price wasn’t indicative of this already, Burmistrov is much more of a depth signing for the Canucks.

A former Atlanta Thrashers first-round pick (eighth overall), Burmistrov has never lived up to the offensive expectations placed on him by his draft position. After debuting at 19, he spent three seasons in the Atlanta/Winnipeg organization, topping out at 13 goals and 28 points in 2011-12 before returning to Russia. After a pair of years in the KHL, he came back to the Jets for two and half seasons before being dealt to the Coyotes in 2016-17.

The dichotomy between his NHL appearances before and after his return to the KHL is interesting. Early in his career, he was a play driving winger with impressive shot metrics that couldn’t really score. In his second NHL stint, he’s still a winger who can’t really score, but now his on-ice numbers have gone in the tank as well. Even as a fourth liner, Burmistrov’s underlying metrics are less than impressive – last year he carried a Corsi-For percentage of 43.1%.

At 25-years old, Burmistrov is pretty much what he is at this point – if the Canucks are looking for that untapped, eighth overall potential, they’ll surely be disappointed. But Burmistrov should at least provide some depth and competition in the bottom six, and even with his low production, he could still outscore a lot of bottom six options that the Canucks were rolling with last year like Derek Dorsett, Michael Chaput, and Drew Shore, among a cast of others. He also has some history of solid play-driving ability, even if they’re a few years in the past now.

If nothing else, Burmistrov is a serviceable option that allows the Canucks to keep their top prospects, like Brock Boeser, Jake Virtanen, and Nikolay Goldobin, in the American League for a little bit of extra seasoning.

  • Kanucked

    I like the signing. At worst he’s in the minors with a number that doesn’t count against the cap. Provides depth & competition for the bottom six winger. That group was really bad last year with Megna, Skille…

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    I would like to see the Canucks sign Jagr. His production has tailed off massively, but he is highly marketable and you would at least be getting ticket sales from the travelling Jagr’s. A Sedin, Sedin, Jagr line sounds nice doesn’t it?

  • Jimjamg

    The trend here is pretty clear. JB is bound and determined to shelter the prospects and not rush them to the Show. And Utica will be a much more competitive team which is good for everyone too.

    • TD

      I agree, or at least forcing the prospects to earn a spot instead of being gifted a spot. Its great if the odd prospect earns a spot, but the rest of them will have a much healthier and competitive place to play in Utica.

    • Locust

      Exactly.
      Every team needs a sound, well organized AHL team and the Canucks are doing that and adding a high competition threshold for a few remaining NHL spots.
      Good management at play here.

  • defenceman factory

    Benning is defined, especially among the more negative among us, for signing for too much and too long some players that did not come as advertised. In some cases he gave up assets to trade for them. The rebuild on the fly. He also seemed to miss in the first round of his first draft.These moves were all made in his first 18 months on the job.

    Since then the Granlund and Braeschi trades look good, Boeser and Juolevi look like solid picks, Goldobin and Dahlen are promising prospects, the 2017 draft picks are loaded with potential and there are no glaring errors on free agents this year. Overall the depth of the organization is a lot better and there actually appears to be a succession plan. Canucks aren’t a good team yet but it’s sure easier envisioning them becoming one.

    What changed? Was it a change in top down direction? Is Benning finally getting to make the decisions or is Linden stopping him from making the same mistakes he did in his first 18 months? Regardless, if this keeps up, at some point, Benning might deserve some forgiveness for the missteps he took as a rookie GM.

  • TheRealPB

    I like the Wiercoch, Del Zotto and Nilsson signings a lot as well as the Rodin re-signing; Gagner and Burmistrov a little less, but none of it is onerous on either term or AAV. Given that all these signings happened on Day 1 it gives the impression that there is a plan in place. If that plan is to keep the young players as a group in the minors to have them win and learn together (and here I actually do think for once the Leafs recent model makes sense as they kept those young players down with the Marlies two years ago no matter what) then I’m ok with that. Better to have a Burmistrov and Rodin rotating through the 12th forward spot than a Virtanen or Goldobin. And if one of the young guys beats out a current roster player for a more prominent role so be it (as we saw with Higgins a couple of years ago this management doesn’t seem averse to making such a choice).

    It looks like these signings should return Chaput, Megna and Biega to the AHL where they rightly belong. It might give us a very different look for the Horvat line if it gets more favorable matchups. I think Boucher will be the odd man out from the current group, along with Holm.

    After the accuracy in predicting the general range of draft picks, CA also basically nailed the FAs the Canucks went after. Are you sure you don’t have someone working in their office?

  • wojohowitz

    Looks like 10 spots locked up and 7 players competing for the last 2 forward positions.

    Daniel-Henrik-Granlund

    Baertschi-Horvat-XXXX

    XXXX-Sutter-Eriksson

    Gagner-Burmistov-Dorsett

    Gaunce-Chaput-Boeser

    Rodin-XXXX-Goldobin

    Molino-XXXX-Megna

    • Gregthehockeynut

      This signing puzzles me in that he will likely have a bottom six pk checking role. At 180 lbs and a carreer 42.1 faceoff win percentage he seems like a poor fit unless he can play his way into the top six as a play maker pp specialist.