In his final season in the WHL, undrafted forward Brayden Burke scored 31 goals and had 82 assists. It isn't uncommon to see these final seasons, even from undrafted players. Since then Burke has only improved as a player.
19/20 League: AHL (Tucson Roadrunners)
Games played: 51
Highest rating: 15
Lowest rating: 17
The Arizona Coyotes signed Brayden Burke as a free agent and his first games as a professional were with the Tucson Roadrunners in the AHL playoffs. He played in two playoff games and was held pointless.
Burke did improve in his first real season in the AHL. In 67 games he had 13 goals and 20 assists, and he finished sixth on the team in points.
Breaking the trend of a sophomore slump, Burke had a great second season with the Roadrunners. Burke was close to doubling the career-highs in goals, assists, and points he set in his first season.
This past season Burke led the Roadrunners in goals and total points, set a Roadrunners' franchise record for 13 power play goals, and was named to the AHL All-Star Classic. And while he didn't play with the Coyotes to the Edmonton Bubble for the post-season, he was available and could have seen NHL action.
After a breakout season in the AHL and appearing poised to make the team's lineup, Burke seems poised to make the NHL. Whether that is out of training camp or during a call-up, you can expect to see Burke in a Coyotes jersey, either during the upcoming season or the next at the latest.
Burke is a very interesting player for the Coyotes. For a team that has struggled to draft and develop, it is fitting that one of their better prospects is a player that they didn't draft.
Burke is in the final year of his three-year, entry-level contract with the team. The upcoming season is going to influence the specifics of that deal, but it seems clear that Burke has earned a raise.
Where Burke goes from here remains to be seen. His success in the AHL doesn't guarantee he will be successful in the NHL, but that seems likely at this point. The team has struggled to generate offense, and while Burke isn't an immediate fix for that he may be part of the solution. With the upcoming seasons on hold Burke isn't currently playing in another league, but if there are further delays it will be interesting to see if that changes.
Brayden Burke has gone from an undrafted player from Edmonton, Alberta to one of the Coyotes' more intriguing prospects. His success in the NHL is far from a guarantee, but he seems to have earned a chance in the NHL. What he does with that chance remains to be seen, but Coyotes fans should be excited to find out.
Update: Initially the league was listed as the Tucson Roadrunners rather than the AHL.