After two seasons in the KHL, Alexander Burmistrov is heading back to the NHL.
Burmistrov, 23, spent the past two seasons with the KHL’s Ak Bars Kazan, but his contract expired at the end of the 2014-15 campaign. Last off-season, in an interview with Prosports.ru, Burmistrov said he would, “almost certainly,” end up back in the NHL, with his hope being he would land in an organization that would give him playing time.
With a change in coaching in Winnipeg — the team that owns the rights to the 23-year-old restricted free agent — it’s possible this opens the door for Burmistrov’s return to Winnipeg. If not, he becomes an interesting trade chip for the Jets that other teams will certainly be calling about. Read more
One of the most vexing problems regarding the Memorial Cup is that the host teams haven’t been earning their spots lately. London, Shawinigan and Saskatoon all “backed in” to the CHL classic after bombing out early in their respective league playoffs.
So here’s a shout-out to the Quebec League, which already has its two bids sewn up this year thanks to a couple of elite teams who did what they were supposed to do.
Once again, Team USA has won the world under-18s thanks to a roster made up almost entirely of NTDP kids. Though one interesting takeaway from the tourney was goaltending. The Americans went with underager Evan Sarthou of WHL Tri-City, while Canada had a tandem of underagers in Moose Jaw’s Zach Sawchenko and Saginaw’s Evan Cormier. Sure, 2015 looks like a thin goalie draft, but this was a pretty interesting trend. With that point behind us, let’s look at some of the other prospects making noise in the hockey world right now.
As the opening round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs draws to a close, speculation is slowly emerging over the off-season plans of several eliminated teams.
The early playoff exit of the Pittsburgh Penguins by the New York Rangers suggests significant changes could be in order. Despite rumors earlier this month suggesting Evgeni Malkin or even Sidney Crosby might be dealt this summer, Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Penguins president and CEO Ron Morehouse said the duo would return next season. So will embattled GM Jim Rutherford and coach Mike Johnston.
Morehouse cited an injury-riddled blueline corps among the factors behind his club’s first-round elimination. He said ownership intends to build around core players like Crosby and Malkin.
Entering the season, few would have even pictured the Winnipeg Jets in the post-season. That they played in the playoffs this year should be enough to have the team holding their heads high, but it will take a few days for the sting to come off of being swept by the Anaheim Ducks.
When the team finally reflects on the year that was, however, there will be many reasons to be proud of what they’ve accomplished. From defying the odds and fighting through a litany of injuries on the blueline to their strong push in the late stages of the regular season to lock up a wild-card spot, the Jets not only proved they can hang in the tough Central Division, but that they can be one of the more physical and dominating teams in the entire league.
And while they’ll have to wait at least another season for the franchise’s first ever playoff victory, the 2014-15 Winnipeg Jets were a team that opened a lot of eyes. Read more
The story of the first-round series between the Jets and Ducks has been that as soon as Winnipeg gets a lead, it seems Anaheim comes right back and ties it up. None of the Ducks’ game-tying tallies through three games have been quite as nice as Emerson Etem‘s, though.
After Bryan Little gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead, not even two minutes had passed when Etem came streaking back up ice with Jacob Trouba defending him. Trouba was attempting to force Etem to the outside, but when the Jets defenseman attempted to make a move at the puck, he was beaten by an outstanding deke by Etem who then shifted the puck to his backhand and sent a drifting backhander into the top corner: Read more
It was magical seeing towel-waving Jets fans pack the MTS Centre for Winnipeg’s first playoff game in 19 years Monday night. Still, it was a night to forget for the Jets, who blew their third straight third-period lead and lost to the Anaheim Ducks in overtime, falling behind 3-0 in the Pacific Division semifinal.
It was an especially nightmarish evening for Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who was on the ice for three of Anaheim’s five goals and sucker-punched Corey Perry after Perry scored in the second period, a-la Dale Hunter’s attack on Pierre Turgeon. Perry turned out to be fine, but it didn’t make Byfuglien’s actions any less selfish and dumb. The play was over.
So, over the past 22 days, we’ve seen the following acts from Dustin Byfuglien, arguably the Winnipeg Jets’ best, most important player:
While I try to reserve this space for players up for this year’s draft or ones who have already been picked, there’s a treasure trove of 2016s at the world under-18s right now. Auston Matthews just broke Patrick Kane’s U.S. NTDP scoring record, while Finland is getting a huge performance from Patrik Laine (Jesse Puljujarvi’s playing pretty well, too). And Dmitri Sokolov of Russia is already on the minds of NHL scouts. With that established, let’s take a look at some of the other great youngsters in the game today.