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The Colorado Avalanche announced on Monday that they have signed Andre Burakovsky to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. Burakovsky was a restricted free agent. The Avalanche acquired the 23-year old from the Washington Capitals in exchange for second- and third-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft on June 28.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) July 15, 2019
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 required a qualifying offer of at least $3.25 million per year by 5 PM on June 25 for the Capitals to retain his rights.
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.
Despite the fact that Burakovsky said that he wanted to return to Washington on April 26 (the team’s breakdown day), 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.
MacLellan told the media that the team tried to trade Burakovsky prior to the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on February 25 but could not find a deal that enticed him to move the young Swede.
Burakovsky is projected to skate on Colorado’s second-line with center Nazem Kadri, whom the team acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, and forward J.T. Compher to start the 2018-19 season.
Burakovsky posted two goals, both in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and six points, including three in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights, during the Capitals’ run to the Stanley Cup in 2018. He missed 10 of the team’s 24 games in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs due to a hand injury.
The Capitals replaced Burakovsky by signing forward Garnet Hathaway to a four-year, $6 million contract ($1.5 million AAV) on July 1.
Burakovsky could become a restricted free agent again on July 1, 2020, and will be eligible to sign a contract extension on January 1.
By Harrison Brown