Seattle Kraken Roll Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2022-23 Kraken season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the last campaign, as well as what the future may hold for them in Seattle. Today we feature 28-year-old winger Andre Burakovsky.
Position: Lefty winger.
2022-’23 Kraken totals (GP-G-A-P): 49-13-26-39, 14 PIM
Contract Status: Four seasons remaining at $5.5-million per. He has a modified no-trade clause which allows him to submit a 10-team no-trade list.
Seattle Kraken Season Synopsis
Interesting topic to say the least, although it shouldn’t be. Andre Burakovsky should be healthy and ready to go at Seattle Kraken training camp come mid-September.
“He said everything’s great, feeling stronger and stronger every day,” Kraken General Manager Ron Francis said in early July, having talked to Burakovsky during the NHL Draft. “Everything was trending in the right direction, so that was good to hear.”
Francis confirmed he expected the player to be ready for camp.
Coming off a Mexican siesta/fiesta enjoyed during the extended Kraken bye week and NHL All-Star Break, Burakovsky suffered a groin injury just 21-seconds into his return. The first period shift against the New York Islanders on February 7th would be his final one of the season.
At one point it appeared he might return in time for the playoffs, skating with the club while wearing a red no-contact jersey on April 3rd, but a setback with the injury ended his season.
He was the Kraken’s leading scorer when he left the line-up. He finished with 39 points in 49 games.
Highs And Lows
The low point we just described. The high point; he actually had three of them.
Burakovsky, full of confidence with his new Kraken club after winning the 2022 Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, started the season like a house on fire. He scored a goal in the season opener against the Anaheim Ducks and put up five points over his first four games.
During a five game stretch between November 23rd and December 1st, he piled up five goals and five assists. In one four game stretch during the Kraken’s seven-game road winning streak in January, he tallied seven points.
Other than those hot streaks, Burakovsky was pretty much the model of consistency. Aside from a single six-game drought, a three-game stretch, and a two-game gap, the winger never went more than one game without a point, keeping in mind the three-gamer included the match in which he was injured.
One can only imagine what the Kraken could have accomplished in the postseason on top of their 14 game run had Burakovsky been in the line-up. He had eight points in 12 playoff games during the Avalanche’s championship run.
Then again, injuries are a stark reality for every NHL team chasing the Stanley Cup.
What The Future Holds
There are elements of power and grace to Burakovsky’s game. Size is an advantage at 6-foot-3, 210-pounds. He’s able to put a lot of that heft behind his shot. He scored on almost 25% of his attempts in the 2022 postseason, while that shooting percentage dropped to a more realistic 12.4% with the Kraken.
Burakovsky can play either wing at even strength but you’ll very likely find him on the left side of the Kraken’s top power play unit. The club features an impressive foursome of interchangeable veteran wingers on its top two lines with Burakovsky, Jared McCann, Jordan Eberle and Jaden Schwartz. It’ll ultimately come down to who clicks best coming out of the blocks with first-line center Matty Beniers.
Burakovsky had three game winning goals last season, two of them coming in overtime. His one drawback at times was holding on to the puck too long, a tendency he was trying to shake. Seattle’s overtime fortunes began to improve partly because Burakovsky became more conscientious.
Otherwise there wasn’t a whole lot to complain about. If he stays healthy, Burakovsky and the Kraken should be off to the races.
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