Washington Capitals: Using Andre Burakovsky As Trade Bait

Andre Burakovsky of the Washington Capitals is on the trading block.

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The son of former Ottawa Senators forward, Robert Burakovsky has played in the Washington Capitals organization since 2014-2015. He was selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Since joining the Capitals full-time in 2014, Burakovsky has been a dependable top 9 forward. 

Unfortunately, this season has been a rough one for the 23-year-old Swedish forward. In 29 games played, he has registered 5 goals, 3 assists, 11:36 average time on ice (ATOI) and a 47.7 corsi-for percentage (CF%). Those numbers aren’t great when you compare them to his performance last season and the season prior. 

At this point, it’s time for the Washington Capitals to cash out. While Burakovsky does have a tremendous amount of upside, he isn’t fitting the bill in the Washington D.C. 

The goal should be to leverage Burakovsky’s upside and past performances to land some additional depth. While the Washington Capitals are doing quite well and are first in the Metropolitan Division, they could still use some more depth if they want to ensure another visit to the Stanley Cup Finals.

For the rest of this post, I’ll take a deep dive on who the Capitals could sell Burakovsky to in a deal that would provide the club with some much-needed depth.

St. Louis Blues

The first team that could be a good fit for Burakovsky is the St. Louis Blues. 

The Blues have had an awful season and their general manager, Doug Armstrong is on the hot seat. Armstrong is most likely exploring trades for Vladimir Tarasenko, Colton Parayko, Jaden Schwartz and Alex Pietrangelo.

Unfortunately for Washington, it’s going to take an arm and a leg to land one of those high-profile assets on the Blues. General manager of the Washington Capitals, Brian MacLellan could potentially package Burakovsky in a deal with other Capitals including Madison Bowey, Jonas Siegenthaler and/or draft picks to pry an asset from St. Louis. 

If I were in McLellan’s shoes, I’d try to bolster up the Capitals’ defensive core and try to make a compelling offer for Parayko. Parayko is an outstanding two-way defenseman. Plus, he’d help address an issue on the Capitals’ right side on defense as Matt Niskanen on the second line hasn’t been great for Washington so far. 

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In Bill Comeau’s (@billius27 – Twitter) tableau visual, you can see how Parayko has done so far this season in comparison to Niskanen. 

After comparing both defenseman, it’s hard to see why the Washington Capitals wouldn’t be interested in Parayko.

Vancouver Canucks

On Saturday night, Chris Johnston of Rogers Sportsnet discussed that the Vancouver Canucks could be interested in adding the Swedish forward. That would make a lot of sense as the Canucks look to bolster up their depth and add players with upside. A few weeks ago, the Canucks brought Josh Leivo to town after completing a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. So far, Leivo has been an excellent addition and perhaps Burakovsky could be one too.

If Burakovsky was traded to Vancouver, I could see MacLellan adding a defenseman like Chris Tanev. Similarly to Burakovsky, Tanev has looked great in previous seasons but hasn’t been as productive this season. 

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At this point in the season, Tanev has 1 goal, 4 assists, 20:37 ATOI, 75 blocks, 12 take-aways and a 42.1 CF% in 31 games played. Unfortunately, Tanev’s CF% has slightly dropped when comparing his current CF% to last season’s. Yet, a change of scenery might do the trick. 

In addition, you could make the argument that the Canucks’ first line pairing of Alexander Edler and Tanev simply isn’t working. Edler’s CF% is worse than Tanev’s. So, perhaps, Tanev would have a resurgence when paired with a Washington Capitals defenseman like Dmitry Orlov.

Carolina Hurricanes

The third team that I could see being aggressive in talks around Burakovsky is the Carolina Hurricanes. 

At this very moment in time, the Hurricanes are using grinder, Jordan Martinook on their first line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen. It’s time for the Hurricanes to re-think that. Martinook isn’t going to produce in the offensive zone and the Hurricanes should look for someone who will.

While Burakovsky has had a rough season, he could emerge as a scoring threat with Aho and Teravainen. Plus, he’d be a cheap option for Carolina rather than going out and putting together a package to land Tarasenko.

In terms of the Washington Capitals, they would most likely be targeting Justin Faulk. Faulk has been having a fantastic season and currently owns a 56.5 CF%. He could be a great fit in Washington and would definitely bolster their right side on defense.

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To recap, there should be a big aggressive market for Burakovsky. While he has fallen out of favor in Washington, he certainly can be a success somewhere else and he could fetch some value back for the Capitals.

stats from NHL.com, hockey-reference.com

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals


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