Arizona Coyotes general manager John Chayka loves his waiver acquisitions.
ARIZ claims Burmistrov— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 2, 2017
The Coyotes claimed Alexander Burmistrov off of waivers from the Winnipeg Jets Monday morning. Burmistrov has two assists in 23 games with the Jets this season.
A veteran of 298 games with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, Burmistrov was the 8th overall selection of the then Atlanta Thrashers back in 2010. Burmistrov bounced back and forth between the Jets and their AHL affiliate before signing a two-year deal with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL during the lockout in 2013-14. The decision came reportedly due to dissatisfaction with his usage under head coach Claude Noel.
We reached out to SB Nation’s Winnipeg Jets affiliate - Arctic Ice Hockey - for more on Burmistrov, and it appears the move to the KHL was a pivatol moment in Burmistrov’s career. Unfortunately, not for good reasons:
Before he left for the KHL he was a strong defensive player who could get a stop and start the breakout, [though his] offensive play always left something to be desired.
Since his return, he's had less success in the D zone and the offensive play has been bad. There appears to be no concept of a simple play. Many offensive opportunities are flubbed with unnecessary high risk moves and over-handling of the puck. He'll wait too long, miss the opportunity for a pass the literally skate himself into the corner and lose the puck.
Whatever the usage, Burmistrov doesn’t represent much of an improvement over fellow waiver acquisition Josh Jooris, at least as far as their fancy-stats are concerned:
But, as AIH tells us, his usage in Winnipeg sheds some light and why the Coyotes probably went out and got him.
He's a capable penalty killer.
Given Arizona’s recent struggles on the kill, even a marginal improvement would be a welcome change. It is worth noting that Burmistrov has recorded 20+ points in each of his full NHL seasons, so he has some offensive flair. But that’s not what he’s here to do.
Hopefully a change of scenery gives Burmistrov a chance to reset and become an all-around useful NHL player for the Coyotes.