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2014-15 Rink Wrap: Andre Burakovsky

From Alzner to Wilson, we're taking a look at and grading the 2014-15 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2015-16. Next up, Andre Burakovsky.

Clyde Caplan

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version, and a glossary of terms used in this post can be found here; data via NHL.comwar-on-ice.comGeneral Fanager and Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com):

Burakovsky card

Burakovsky linemates

Burakovsky usage

Burakovsky's Career Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage:

Burakovsky CF%
Burakovsky's First Season (via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com; click to enlarge):

Burakovsky HA

Previous Rink Wraps: None

Key Stat: Burakovsky played in only 53 games and averaged just under 13 minutes per appearance. His time on ice per game was the ninth highest among Capitals' forwards who played at least 300 total minutes this season.

Interesting Stat: With his two goal performance in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Andre Burakovsky became the youngest Capitals to ever score two goals in a playoff game. The Capital whom he usurped is current teammate, and frequent line-mate, Marcus Johansson. Burakovsky is the fourteenth youngest player to ever score two goals in the playoffs and is the youngest to accomplish the feat since 2012.

The Good: There was a whole lot of good going on for the Washington Capitals when Burakovsky was on the ice.

On-Ice Statistic (5v5) Data Rank on Team
Goals Per 60 3.27 1st
Scoring Chances For Per 60 29.82 1st
Shot Attempts For Per 60 63.51 1st
Score Adjusted Shot Attempt Percentage 55.10% 1st

Essentially no Capitals forward saw offense generated at a faster rate than Burakovsky and despite playing a large portion of his season with a puck possession anchor (Troy Brouwer) he led the team in SASAT (score-adusted shot attempt %). Burakovsky's ability to both exit the defensive zone with control of the puck and enter the offensive zone without surrendering possession are likely strong contributing factors to the team's improved puck retention when he is on the ice.

Throughout the season Burakovsky has shown an ability to create space both in the neutral and offensive zones. His great lateral mobility while skating at top speed makes him very hard to defend. When unable to beat his defender with pure speed Burakovsky's confidence shows. He has no issue with attempting to move the puck around (or through) a defender to generate a transition chance or a scoring opportunity.

The Bad: Burakovsky started the season as the team's second line center but some defensive miscues cost him his spot as the season wore on. He was often out-muscled when dealing with larger defenders along the boards and sometimes is a little too hesitant to pull the trigger. Burakovsky's biggest flaw continues to be his defensive play while away from the puck.

Burakovsky's offense slowed down in the later part of the season. While his scoring chance and possession numbers indicate that he was playing well, Burakovsky only tallied four points in his final 22 games with the Capitals this season (playoffs included).

The Video(s):

And

The Comic:

The Vote: Rate Burakovsky below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

The Discussion: Much was made throughout the season of the way that Barry Trotz was utilizing Burakovsky, and the other young forwards, but all of that is in the past now. What matters now is the future.  Should Burakovsky be on the top line with Ovechkin and Backstrom? Does he need to be in the top six in order to be effective?  Should Burakovsky play center or wing? What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?

Burakovsky