The Seattle Kraken signed free agent left winger Andre Burakovsky to a five-year contract worth $27.5 million, or $5.5 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2026-27 season.
Burakovsky to SEA is 5x$5.5M
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 13, 2022
Andre Burakovsky Signed Contract After Difficulty in Playoffs
Over his eight-year NHL career, Burakovsky played for both the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals. The Caps drafted him back in 2013 with their first-round, 23rd overall selection. He left Washington via free agency in the summer of 2019, signing a one-year deal with Colorado. He succeeded in Denver and re-upped for another two seasons with the Avs shortly after that season.
In 519 career games, Burakovsky so far has 123 goals and 172 assists for 295 points. This past year, he collected 22 goals and 39 assists for 61 points in 80 games. Those numbers marked new career highs in each category, along with a career-high 16:16 in ice time per night. He did all that while also carrying a 59.0% Corsi, plus a relative Corsi of 8.2%. He played regularly alongside fellow UFA’s Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin as Colorado’s second line. Oftentimes, coach Jared Bednar shifted either Burakovsky or Nichushkin up to their first line to mix in with Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and/or Mikko Rantanen to spread their talent. Minutes with any of those three only helped his output.
If the above information didn’t give it away, the Avs entered this summer in a precarious position. Similar to years past, they saw a glut of important pieces reach free agency. They had $26 million to spend on the team for next year, but far more holes to fill than even that amount can address. As a result, plenty of Avs like Burakovsky received new offers outside of Denver to earn more money than ever before in their careers. (Oh, the woes of playing hockey late into the summer…)
What This Means for the Future
In Colorado’s playoff run, Burakovsky played like his usual self. And by “like his usual self”, that means “hot and cold”. He wound up in the press box a couple of times as a scratch early in the postseason, partially due to a hard shot block in game one against the Edmonton Oilers. However, his ice time fell from 16:16 per night during the regular season to under 13 minutes on average in the postseason. Once Kadri became unavailable due to his own injury, Burakovsky re-entered the lineup regularly. They needed his offensive touch, which is his primary asset. Once he re-entered the lineup, Burky started producing at big moments. He scored an overtime winner in the Stanley Cup Final, while also recording multiple multi-point games. Unfortunately, injury bit him once again from there. But ultimately, Burakovsky demonstrated that true-to-form “streaky scorer” label that followed him throughout his career.
And that is what his new team wants him around for, too. Plus, he has heaps of playoff experience for a 27-year-old. Besides this year’s run, Burakovsky already accumulated 25 postseason appearances with the Avs across the past two seasons. Also, he won a Stanley Cup as a member of the Capitals back in 2017-18. He dressed in 56 playoff matchups over five playoff runs with the Caps to boot.
Colorado offered Burakovsky a fantastic opportunity to play top-six minutes regularly, and he did just that for them. Now, he’s a bonafide top-six NHL talent with teams lining up for his services. He earned this, and Colorado fans will certainly miss Burakovsky in their burgundy and blue.