PHILADELPHIA -- Eight games into last season, Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov was an 18-year-old rookie still looking for his first NHL point. Eight games into this season, he's the team's leading scorer with 7 points, including at least a point in five straight games.
"He's been one of our best forwards," said Jets captain Andrew Ladd. "He's such a dynamic player. The way he handles the puck, his speed, he creates so much. He's been great for us so far. He's been put in a lot of different situations, he's penalty killing, getting a lot of ice time. He's taken that next step."
"I think it's just maturity," added coach Claude Noel. "He's been one of our better players. He has real good chemistry with (Nik) Antropov. He just looks patient on the ice, he looks like he has the puck a lot. I think he feels more confident making plays. He's way more effective with the puck. I think it's just a maturity thing with him. It's what happens when you get a year's experience under your belt."
Burmistrov said the biggest change for him is going not being awestruck by some of the players he would take the ice against.
"Last year I was coming on the ice and watching the stars, these unbelievable players to play against," he told NHL.com. "I just enjoyed playing against them. This year I try to play hard against them. I want to be like them or better than them. I want to beat them on the ice."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK