Winnipeg Jets restricted free agent forward Alexander Burmistrov has left the National Hockey League to sign a contract with Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia.
Burmistrov, 21, reportedly signed a two-year deal to play in the KHL after spending the past three seasons with the Jets franchise. The Atlanta Thrashers made him the eighth pick in the 2010 NHL Draft and he spent the 2010-11 season with them and the following two in Winnipeg.
The Jets retain Burmistrov's rights should he return to the NHL.
"Through our conversations and correspondence with Alex and his agent, it became apparent Alex had a desire to continue his development as a young player in the KHL," Winnipeg general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a statement. "He remains a very talented player within the Jets organization and we will continue to monitor his progress and development going forward."
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
TONIGHT ON NHL NETWORK
5:00 ET: NHL Live Powered by Constellation 7:00 ET: NHL Tonight