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 email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK