If you’re looking for the Sens to keep it all in the family on draft day, Andre Burakowsky is your man. His father, Robert, was a member of the Sens during the 1993-94 season. Now Andre is poised to be a first round selection.
It was a tough year on the scoresheet for Burakowsky as he was stuck in a middle ground between Malmo’s junior and senior circuits. In 13 games for the junior squad, he was very strong, recording three goals and four assists. However, he struggled to earn minutes with the senior team during their Allsvenskan season, scoring four goals and 11 points. He did not play for Sweden at the World Juniors, but was strong with the U18 team, scoring four goals in five games at the World U18 tournament and recording six goals and 12 points in 10 games in other U18 competition.
Burakowsky is a flashy offensive talent up front. He moves well, handles the puck comfortably and can generate offence for himself or teammates. He also brings a chip on his shoulder, which adds a physical presence to his game that complements his strong work ethic. He brings a good possession game to the table and can create a quick counter attack off of any turnover he corrals.
While Burakowsky has a lot of upside, the tough season raised questions about his game. The primary issue which surfaced and, in turn, kept him from playing meaningful minutes with Malmo this season was his strength -- he needs to be able to outmuscle opponents when space to skate isn’t available -- he currently lacks that ability. Moreover, his consistency needs to improve as flashes of brilliance with long absences won’t help him make the jump.
With all of this in mind, Burakowsky could very well be a quality skilled forward in the NHL. He has all of the tools necessary to do play the North American game when you combine his 6-foot-2, 176 pound frame with his skating and puck handling abilities. The issue will be a matter of how effectively he can build his body to the required levels and live up to his immense skillset on a regular basis.
Expect Burakowsky to be selected in the mid-to-late first round.
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