Colorado Avalanche: Examining the Andre Burakovsky Contract

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 16: Andre Burakovsky #65 of the Washington Capitals plays the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 16: Andre Burakovsky #65 of the Washington Capitals plays the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche have signed pending restricted free agent Andre Burakovsky to a one-year deal. The team acquired him in a trade.

The Colorado Avalanche and pending restricted free agent Andre Burakovsky have agreed to a contract. The 24-year-old winger signed a standard one-year contract worth $3.25 million.

Colorado acquired Burakovsky in a trade just before free agency, sending over a second rounder and Arizona’s third rounder along with pending RFA Scott Kosmachuk for the forward. Burakovsky had long been the subject of trade rumors, though Mile Vogel of the Caps’ website reveled that Andre had requested a trade at the deadline.

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As noted, Burakovsky was himself a pending RFA. He was coming off a season that saw him earn just 12 goals and 13 assists in 76 games, though he was stuck on the third line the whole time.

He’s coming off a standard two-year bridge in which he was earning $3 million. Yet Colorado signed him for just one year.

The obvious reason for that from the team’s point of view is that it’s a show-me contract. The winger is coming off a less than stellar year, but then he’s also never had a particularly great year. His career year was 2015-16 when he recorded 38 points (17 goals, 21 assists) in 79 games. In 328 NHL games, he has 62 goals and 83 assists.

However, Burakovsky has long been seen as having that elusive potential. So, by just offering the Swede one year, Colorado is risking little on their latest reclamation project. Sure, $3.25 million is a lot for a 25-point player, and it represents a pay raise, but the Avs have the cap space.

For the player himself, such a contract represents a chance to indicate his worth. At 24, he’s just entering his prime. At the end of this contract, he’ll be an RFA again. That means he’s in a contract year and an important one — his next contract can be for both money and term if he shows his worth.

Burakovsky brings great size for a forward — 6-foot-3, 201 pounds. What’s more, he’s speedy — not just for a man his size, but in general.

Watch these moves, during the Game 7 that propelled the Washington Capitals into the Stanley Cup Finals:

Scoring on the rush — the Colorado Avalanche love that style of play.

Ryan Clark of The Athletic thinks Burakovsky will play on the second line with Nazem Kadri at center and Tyson Jost on the other wing. That’s a line that shows some grit from Kadri and some speed and playmaking from the two wings. I like it. (Said line will also feature every possible mishmash of forwards, as Jared Bednar loves, oh well.)

It’s also thought Burakovsky will see some time on the second power play unit.

Even though the Caps are my Eastern Conference team, I haven’t spent a lot of time watching Andre Burakovsky specifically. Frankly, I’m more familiar with his off-ice shenanigans than with his play because that gets talked about more.

Next. Avs Secret is in Kadri and Burakovsky. dark

Ultimately, I think Burakovsky represents the latest in a long list of reclamation projects for the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs love to see these players seemingly playing below their potential and think they can provide the right home for said player to hit his potential. It hasn’t really worked out yet.

Might it work out for Andre and the Avs? Well, like I said, Burakovsky has everything to gain from putting his best foot forward. Let’s see what that ends up looking like.


Defensive prospect Sergei Boikov signed a two-year contract with the Moscow Dynamo even though the Avs extended him a qualifying offer. Boikov had been showing some promise in the preseason a couple years ago until a shoulder injury took him out. I guess he’s giving up on the NHL.

That means Colorado has 14 defensemen signed between the Avs and Eagles, with Anton Lindholm also as a pending RFA. With Erik Johnson possibly and Ian Cole definitely missing the start of the season, the blueline is starting to look a little thin again, especially at the AHL level.

I really wish they’d qualified Mason Geertsen.