Team: Malmö (Allsvenskan)
Date of Birth: February 9, 1995
Place of Birth: Klagenfurt, Austria
Ht: 6'1" Wt: 175 lbs
2012-2013 Regular Season Stats:
André Burakovsky is a guy who projects as a bit of a project with a high ceiling. He has great hockey bloodlines, as his father played a long career in Europe, and even had a cup of coffee in the NHL in the early 90s. He was born in Austria while his father was playing there, but was largely raised in Sweden, thus his play in the Swedish league system.
He's a bit young for this class, and a bit undersized at this point, but should be fine with his 6'1" frame over time. He skates very well, gets good burst and power, and has solid hands around the net and in space. He plays with some jam, and with his skills, he could be a top-6 NHL player before too terribly long. He will probably need an extra couple of years of seasoning before he gets to the NHL, however. He sputtered a bit this season in Sweden, and didn't get the ice time many had hoped he'd earn.
Burakovsky is ranked #6 in the final Central Scouting European Skater rankings.
Burakowsky struggled to get ice time in the second-tier Swedish pro league at the beginning of the season, but his fine form in international play has been encouraging. One NHL executive said that Burakowsky's skating is comparable to some of the top Swedes to come out of the draft recently. He gains efficient power from his stride, and he has a great top gear. His skill level allows him to regularly make above-average to high-end dekes and passes. He has the look of a skilled puck possessor with every shift. The extra element of his game is his grit, and one NHL source described his work ethic as equal to his skill level. He has the ability to impact the possession game with his skill and smarts, and he has a knack for pressuring the puck away from opponents. In order to fulfill his potential, Burakowsky will have to get stronger. There are also significant question marks around his decision making, as some scouts indicate he can be a bit of a puck hog. There are some kinks to correct, but his game has great upside, and he can be a top-line player at his peak.
Came into the year pegged as a potential Top 10 selection... Hasn’t quite lived up to expectations thus far... Skilled winger with a more than adept shot and scoring touch around the net… Shows flashes of dynamic ability... Will benefit greatly from a strong showing at the U18’s this Spring.
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
The Jackets need offense, and Burakovsky has the potential to be an impact player in the top six in time. He's got speed, has the frame to put on some good size in time, and has great hands. He makes great passes, and shows the ability to score around the net. He also plays with some grit, and shouldn't be a two-way liability as he develops.
That said, Burakovsky will need some additional time before he's ready for the NHL. He was only playing in the second-tier Swedish league this season, and he struggled for ice time at times. His ceiling is very high; it just might take awhile to get there.
Burakvosky in Action