Photo: NBC Sports
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman mentioned in his weekly “31 Thoughts” column that the Washington Capitals would want a “mid-to-high” draft pick in exchange for forward Andre Burakovsky, who has been on the rumor mill all season long and could get moved at the trade deadline.
He wrote “The Capitals have asked for a couple of mid-to-high round draft picks in exchange (seconds and thirds would be a good get) for him. That would give them more flexibility and assets to chase what they need. Even with a seven-game losing streak, absolutely no one is writing them off.,” and also mentioned that the Edmonton Oilers, who fired GM Peter Chiarelli yesterday, checked in on Burakovsky, 23, “but a couple of sources threw water on that.”
Burakovsky’s potential suitors include the Dallas Stars, Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Avalanche, and the Arizona Coyotes.
Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan stated at his mid-season press conference two weeks ago that he would be open to doing a “player-for-player” deal before the trade deadline as the Capitals currently only have $411,667 in cap space and would need to send a player in a trade if the Capitals were to get somebody.
Burakovsky, who will turn 24 on February 9, is a natural candidate for a trade. He has been a healthy scratch frequently the past month and only has six goals, 12 points, and a -5 rating in 44 games this season. Burakovsky had been held off of the scoresheet one assist in a span of 13 games before recording a goal and three points in his last three outings.
Burakovsky is scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1 and will need a qualifying offer worth at least $3.25 million for the Capitals to retain his rights, a hefty price for someone who’s struggled to produce consistently over his career. If the Caps fail to make a qualifying offer, Burakovsky would become an unrestricted free agent and the team would risk losing him for nothing.
Burakovsky’s best season came in 2015-16, when he recorded 17 goals and 38 points in 79 games, setting career-highs in each category. He has 56 goals, 132 points, and a +27 rating in 296 career NHL games, all with the Capitals. The young Swede has missed time the past three seasons due to hand injuries.
By Harrison Brown