The Washington Capitals traded forward Andre Burakovsky to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for second and third-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft, the team announced on Friday afternoon. The Capitals also acquired the rights to pending unrestricted free agent to forward Scott Kosmachuk.
NEWS | The Capitals Acquire a Second and Third Round Pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft from Colorado for Andre Burakovsky
Pending UFA Forward Scott Kosmachuk also included in the tradehttps://t.co/IEcLcE4xhY
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 28, 2019
The Avalanche acquired the third-round draft pick that they sent to the Capitals from the Arizona Coyotes in a deal that sent center Carl Soderberg to the desert last week. Colorado also acquired defenseman Kevin Connauton in the trade.
Trade rumors swirled around the 24-year old for most of last season as he only scored five goals and nine points in his first 43 games. He was scratched five times this season. While he finished the season strong, seven goals and 16 points in 35 games, he ended with only 12 goals, 25 points, a +2 rating in 76 games. He recorded two points during the Capitals’ seven-game First Round series loss against the Carolina Hurricanes, though both of them came in the final two games of the series.
Burakovsky can become a restricted free agent on July 1 and required a qualifying offer of at least $3.25 million for the team to acquire his rights, which the Capitals offered him prior to the deadline to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents on Tuesday.
Despite having a high level of potential, Burakovsky only eclipsed the 30-point mark twice in his career and both of those came when the Capitals won back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies in 2016 and 2017.
In 328 regular-season games (all with the Capitals), he recorded 62 goals, 145 points, and a +34 rating while primarily playing on the third line. The Capitals drafted him 23rd overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.
The Avalanche have $38,900,239 left in cap space and are expected to be one of the NHL’s most active teams in free agency, which begins at 12 PM ET on Monday. Forward Mikko Rantanen, who was second on the Avalanche with 31 goals and 87 points in 74 regular-season games in 2018-19, can become a restricted free agent on July 1.
The Capitals have $9,235,706 left in cap space with forward Brett Connolly, forward Devante Smith-Pelly, and forward Dmitrij Jaskin set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Forward Jakub Vrana, who was third on the Capitals with 24 goals during the regular season and can become a restricted free agent on July 1, is their top priority to re-sign. Forward Chandler Stephenson and defenseman Christian Djoos can also become restricted free agents on July 1.
Kosmachuk, 25, recorded 12 goals, 23 points, and a -7 rating in 54 games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles this past season. His 23 points were a career-low in his five-year AHL career. He has posted three points (all assists) and a +1 rating in eight career NHL games, all with the Winnipeg Jets in the 2015-16 season.
Despite the fact that Burakovsky said that he wanted to return to Washington, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan stated that he requested a trade from the team to get an opportunity to play in a top-six role somewhere, according to Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel.
Burakovsky will return to Capital One Arena for the first time as a visitor on Monday, October 14, when the Avalanche visit the Capitals at 5 PM ET. The two teams will also play in Denver on Thursday, February 13 at 9 PM ET at Pepsi Center.
Bt Harrison Brown