Friday, June 28, 2019

NHL Trade Review: Avalanche acquire Burakovsky

Photo from NBC


           The Colorado Avalanche have acquired F Andre Burakovsky from the Washington Capitals in exchange for F Scott Kosmachuk, a 2020 2nd round pick and a 2020 third round pick.

           The Avalanche have the most cap space of any team, as they are $17.6 million under the cap floor. They can afford to take on some RFAs, as they do here with Burakovsky. Burakovsky is still young, but has plateaued out since a strong age 20 season where he scored 17 goals and 38 points, still career highs. The second rounder is really the only thing they really give up. The third was just acquired this week for Carl Soderberg and Kevin Connauton, and Kosmachuk will be a group 6 UFA.

            Burakovsky, 24, scored 12 goals with 13 assists for 25 points in 76 games for the Capitals this past year. In his NHL career, all in Washington, the 23rd overall pick in 2013 has scored 62 goals with 83 assists for 145 points in 328 games.

            I predicted during the draft that the Caps would trade Burakovsky. The Caps have just over $9.2 million in cap space, and have RFAs Jakub Vrana, Christian Djoos and Chandler Stephenson. They would also love to re-sign Brett Connolly, and maybe Devante Smith-Pelly as well. Keep in mind that they need to sign some AHL players as well. Trading Burakovsky saves cap room for the present and the future, as the Capitals need to sign both Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby, both of which are UFAs after 2019-20, and can be extended on July 1. Kosmachuk is a pending UFA, and now is one of four group 6 UFAs in the Caps organization, a list that includes Nathan Walker, Riley Barber and Michael Sgarbossa. They lack minor league forwards, so Kosmachuk could be signed. He hasn't played in the NHL since debuting four seasons ago.

             Kosmachuk, 25, scored three points, all assists, in eight games for the Winnipeg Jets on 2015-16, making up all of his NHL experience. For the AHL's Colorado Eagles this past season, Kosmachuk scored 12 goals with 11 assists for 23 points in 54 games.

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