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Capitals' Burakovsky poised to make team as center

by Staff

With a new coaching staff in place, it's meant a few changes for a number of players on the Washington Capitals roster.

It's also meant some changes for one of their top prospects.

Forward Andre Burakovsky, the 23rd pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, said Capitals coach Barry Trotz has asked him to shift from left wing to center during the team's rookie camp, and he'll likely stay there when training camp opens.

Burakovsky was drafted as a left wing, and playing that position last season with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, he had 41 goals and 87 points in 57 games.

But if it means playing in the NHL this season, the 19-year-old, who earned the No. 14 spot in's Top 60 prospect rankings, said he's all for it.

"We have been talking about how he wants me to play center and show him I want to compete for a spot this year on the team," Burakovsky told the team's website. "I'm going to go out there and fight with all the guys and compete with the best guys on this team every single day and try to make the team."

Burakovsky said the experience he gained at rookie camp last season makes him feel more comfortable this time around. Also helping are the strength gains he made during the summer.

"I worked really hard this summer," he said. "I worked out pretty hard with my trainer back home. We got a great summer together. … Had a great summer, put on some weight and got stronger. Saw the results from that testing in the gym. The results were so much better this time than last year. Feels really good to see the results and know that I'm much stronger and much better."

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