When he left the Kraken line-up due to injury back in February, Andre Burakovsky was Seattle’s leading scorer. Almost a full two months later, Burakovsky skated with the full roster for the first time Monday morning while wearing a red no-contact jersey.
“It’s just another step in the right direction for him,” Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol said after the skate. “No large revelation there, just the next step in the process for him. Obviously I’m sure it’s nice for him to be back out there, and just happy to see him continue to progress.”
Burakovsky tallied 39 points, including 13 goals, in his 49 games played this season. He left just 21-seconds into his first shift on February 7th against the New York Islanders. With his lower body injury almost healed, he’ll now have to find his wind and “get his legs back”. Conditioning and reaching NHL game speed are part of the next steps.
The big Austrian left winger won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche last season and hopes to return in time to help the Kraken participate in this year’s playoffs. His acquisition, along with that of defenseman Justin Schultz, forward Oliver Bjorkstrand, goalie Martin Jones, and the emergence of rookie center Matty Beniers, all added up to help put the Kraken in the position they’re in.
Despite the impressive level of balanced scoring with Seattle, “Burkie’s” return will mean a lot to the club. It will create even more options at the top of the line-up.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound native of Klagenfurt, Austria was the 1st-round draft pick, 23rd-overall, of the Washington Capitals back in 2013. He was traded for a minor league winger and two draft picks during the summer of 2019. He tallied a career high 61 points with the Avalanche last season, his third in Denver.
The Kraken signed him as a free agent last July, inking him to a five-year deal worth a cap hit of $5.5-million per season. He was on pace for another career year before he suffered the setback in the first game back off the team’s bye week and the NHL All-Star break.
Burakovsky will miss his 26th game of the season as the Kraken take on the Arizona Coyotes at Climate Pledge Arena on Monday evening.