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2017-18 Rink Wrap: Andre Burakovsky

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2017-18 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Stanley Cup Champion Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2018-19. Next up, Andre Burakovsky.

2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Regular Season
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Shot Shot Ice
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% ATOI FO%
2014-15 19 WSH 53 9 13 22 12 10 7 2 0 2 65 13.8 12:55 44.3
2015-16 20 WSH 79 17 21 38 4 12 17 0 0 1 126 13.5 13:01 45.9
2016-17 21 WSH 64 12 23 35 13 14 10 2 0 1 111 10.8 13:16 28.6
2017-18 22 WSH 56 12 13 25 3 27 10 2 0 5 84 14.3 13:50 54.5
Career 252 50 70 120 32 63 44 6 0 9 386 13.0 13:15 45.5

Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Ice
Season Age Tm GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% ATOI FO%
2014-15 19 WSH 11 2 1 3 2 0 2 0 0 1 17 11.8 12:25 100.0
2015-16 20 WSH 12 1 0 1 -1 6 1 0 0 0 16 6.3 12:32 50.0
2016-17 21 WSH 13 3 3 6 5 2 3 0 0 0 27 11.1 14:20 50.0
2017-18 22 WSH SC 13 2 4 6 2 4 2 0 0 0 12 16.7 10:42 0.0
Career 1 49 8 8 16 8 12 8 0 0 1 72 11.1 12:30 40.0

Key Stat: After being healthy scratched for Game 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Andre Burakovsky finished the playoffs with six points over the team’s final seven games (2G-4A). The last of those points was a secondary assist on Lars Eller’s Stanley Cup winning goal.

Interesting Stat: Despite only scoring 12 goals this season, Andre Burakovsky tallied five game winning goals, the third highest total on the team.

The Good: Burakovsky is a highly talented player with a skill set well suited to the modern game. He continues to excel at using his speed to create offensive opportunities while carrying the puck in transition.

It felt all but inevitable that the Tampa Bay Lightning were going to tie, and eventually win, Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. After Alex Ovechkin’s first minute goal, and a failed power play shortly thereafter, Washington’s offense had been nearly non-existent... until, with 11 minutes left in the second period, Andre Burakovsky stripped the puck from Dan Girardi and put the Capitals up 2-0. Seven and a half minutes later; a great pass from John Carlson led to another Burakovsky breakaway and another goal.

The Capitals would, of course, go on to win game seven and eventually the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup. Both of Burakovsky’s goals in that game were due to his speed, skating ability and shot.

Burakovsky continues to be a positive driver of puck possession which ensures that he provides value when played in a top-nine role, even when the points aren’t coming.

Additionally, Burakovsky’s career 53.28 shot attempts percentage (3,004 shot attempts for, 2,634 against) at five-on-five ranks first among all skaters selected in his NHL Draft with at least 100 games played. Burakovsky’s career shot attempts percentage is the highest cumulative shot attempt percentage of any Capitals player over the last four seasons - Capitals Playoff Guide

Over the last few years we’ve talked a lot about Burakovsky’s production rate and for good reason: he ranks sixth among players from his draft class with 2.15 points per 60 minutes of five-on-five play (min 200 GP).

The Bad: For the first time in his career, Burakovsky did not produce points at a better rate than he had during the previous season. He didn’t just stay stagnate but actually performed worse across the board: his P/60, iCF/60, and shots/60 were all at their lowest levels since his rookie campaign in 2014-2015.

A player of Burakovsky’s skill level should be able to establish himself as a solid power play contributor on the team’s second unit...up to this point he hasn’t.

For the second consecutive season Burakovsky missed a significant number of games due to hand injuries (22 this season), those injuries may be contributing to his inability to generate shots at the same rate that he has in the past.

Flashes of brilliance have defined Andre Burakovsky’s career, the skill and talent are both undoubtedly there but he’s yet to find a way to sustain it:

“I’ve always been really hard on myself and I’m probably always going to be, ever since I was a kid, I had high expectations of myself and I just think I just have to get a rid of that a little bit. Not looking in the past, looking in the future. There’s always that next shift coming up. It’s kind of my problem. I think when I’m doing something bad, I’m thinking about it for a long time and it just sits in my head. That’s something I have to work on over the summer. I did hire a sport psychologist and he’s supposed to be really good. I’m going to work a lot with him over the summer and try to get a rid of that because it’s holding me back. - Burakovsky (Washington Post)

Hockey is a game driven by luck and players are going to go stretches where they aren’t producing points. Burakovsky’s problem continues to be that he completely losses his game whenever he falls into one of those production lulls. A player needs to have confidence in the skills that got them into the NHL, when Burakovsky tries to play a safe/basic game he’s simply ineffective.

The Video:

The Charts:

Burakovsky’s Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Burakovsky and His Linemates (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Burakovsky’s 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Burakovsky’s 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Burakovsky’s With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Burakovsky’s Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Burakovsky’s Player Traits and Performance (chart by @RK_Stimp, data by @ShutdownLine, Tableau here):

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: What are your expectations for Andre Burakovsky? Do you expect him to become established in the top 6? Will he ever become a mainstay on one of the team’s power-play units? What would it take for you to give him a “10” next year?

Other Burakovsky Season Reviews: Peerless, RMNB


How do you rate Andre Burakovsky’s 2017-18 season?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (14 votes)
  • 1%
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    (12 votes)
  • 11%
    (30 votes)
  • 24%
    (62 votes)
  • 21%
    (55 votes)
  • 22%
    (59 votes)
  • 7%
    (19 votes)
  • 1%
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now