Alex Burmistrov has not had the typical career you’d expect from a Top Ten pick.
He was drafted eighth overall by the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets in 2010, and was immediately thrust into the line up at 19 for the whole season. In his rookie year he had 20 points, 6 goals and 14 assists. The next year, when the team was moved to Winnipeg, he set career high in points with 13 goals and 15 assists for 28 points.
During the lockout Burmistrov was assigned to the AHL and his numbers took a hit, playing 22 games and only having 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points. He played out the rest of the shortened season with the Jets getting 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points.
After that he signed with his hometown Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, when he was a restricted free agent of the Jets and found his game again. It’s said that he had an issue with then Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noël. In two seasons with Kazan he scored 20 goals and 44 assists for 64 points in the KHL.
He came back to the Jet’s last season playing 81 games and tallying 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points.
He was placed on waivers January 1st, and the Coyotes claimed him on January 2nd.
Keep in mind, Alex Burmistrov is only 25 years old.
On January 2nd the Coyotes picked him up from waivers and, finally, 10 days later, he joined the team due to work visa and passport issues. The wait was worth it, since in six games with the Coyotes he has one goal and five assists.
He has been playing with Jamie McGinn and Christian Fischer and when Martin Hanzal was out he played on the first line with Tobias Rieder and Radim Vrbata.
Burmistrov himself attributes his revival to the trust of the Coyotes coaching staff, in a not-so-subtle swipe at his former coaches in Winnipeg.
Trust from a new team and a coach can turn a players career around. The Coyotes are known for reclamation projects, like Burmistrov. Ilya Bryzgalov was a waiver pickup from the Anaheim Ducks before he became the Coyotes all-time games played and wins leader. Radim Vrbata is a noticeably different player in Arizona than elsewhere.
Burmistrov has it off right away with the Coyotes and is starting to show what his true talents are. He is a defensively minded center who is a playmaker. Check out Burmistrov’s work on Christian Fischer’s first NHL goal.
Burmistrov is a playmaker, and if/when Anthony Duclair is brought back up from Tucson, and Max Domi comes back, you have a new possible weapon in Burmistrov.
He deserves the chance he is getting from the Coyotes, and hopefully he will stick long term.