Throughout the last month or so, Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky has been the subject of trade chatter throughout the league, with the Caps reportedly seeking a similar player and mid-to-high draft picks in return in any potential trade. While the soon-to-be 24-year old former first-round pick is still with the team, more info on the current status of talks between the Capitals and other clubs recently was revealed, with a report coming that Burakovsky may desire a better opportunity.
In a recent radio interview on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, NHL Insider Darren Dreger was asked about the Capitals and Burakovsky, and why the Capitals want to move on from the young forward. Dreger touched on the fact that the situation may be as much about Burakovsky wanting a better opportunity elsewhere saying:
“It’s as much about the player wanting a better opportunity. I don’t know that he’s come out and officially asked for a trade. I think that there was just an acknowledgement at the start of the season that Burakovsky felt like he could do more, he wanted to do more, and he wanted a more significant role.
In his fifth season in the NHL, the expectation was that Burakovsky would have broken out as a major offensive contributor for the Caps, but injuries, inconsistency, and a self-admitted lack of confidence have slowed the 23rd overall pick in 2013 in the last few seasons. Despite flashes of the potential that made him such a highly-touted prospect, Burakovsky has fallen to the team’s bottom-six forward group and has just 12 points in 44 games played this season (one in which he has sat out a number of games as a healthy scratch).
Dreger also mentioned that the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, and Boston Bruins all showed interest in a trade, but that they and other teams who inquired about Burakovsky, found the asking price too high, citing the team is looking for a similar player in return, but that [Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan] could potentially acquire something different such as a draft pick that could be flipped for a player the Caps feel better suits them.
The 2018-19 Trade Deadline falls on February 25, 2019 at 3:00 P.M., meaning the Capitals have at least three and a bit weeks to make a decision on Burakovsky’s future.
By Michael Fleetwood