Yes, he’s had a less than stellar NHL career so far. In his five-year NHL career, Andre Burakovsky has never eclipsed more than 38 points in a season. But he’s still quite young. Young enough that, given the right opportunity and under the right circumstances he could flourish.
Drafted 23rd overall in 2013 he just turned 24-years-old in February. There’s still time for Burakovsky to turn it around. So why would the Capitals want to move on from him, right?
The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan wrote this week that the Washington Capitals aren’t sure if they’ll even qualify the pending RFA. When asked about Burakovsky, Caps GM Brian MacLellan was far from praising his player:
"I mean, a frustrating year for him. At the end, he kind of found it. We’re going to have to talk about how we want to allocate that money and what role he would play on our team going forward."
To me, that’s the NHL equivalent of putting a for sale sign on Burakovsky. The Islanders can certainly step in with a trade offer that can work for both teams. Maybe the Isles mimic the Marcus Johansson trade to New Jersey from two years ago and send pics to the Capitals for Burakovsky?
The Capitals aren’t keen on Burakovsky. If they’re seriously thinking of not qualifying him they’ll take a few picks instead of losing him for nothing. For the Islanders the picks are inconsequential. They need the support now, a second rounder this season and a third rounder next won’t fill that need.
The only question is if Barry Trotz can get more out of a player in New York, then he got out of him in Washington? Perhaps if Barry can slot him on the wing next to Brock Nelson he can feed off Nelson’s new-found two-way game to put up some numbers.