Seattle Kraken, Andre Burakovsky

The Kraken Need ‘Burkie’ To Get Going

Kraken’s Burakovsky

It feels like he’s been gone as much as he’s been around the last two Kraken seasons. That’s because it’s true.

Andre Burakovsky missed 33 games of 82 last season for Seattle and has been injured for 29 of 38 this time around. For those slicing and dicing the math, yes, that means he’s played 58 of a possible 120 games (48.3%) since signing with the Kraken.

He also missed all of last season’s playoffs.

So just how big is it to have the Austrian-born, Swedish-trained winger on top of his game? Very big. He was the club’s leading scorer when he suffered his season ending groin injury last February.

This season, since getting knocked out of the Kraken line-up on October 21st against the New York Rangers, “Burkie’s” been back for two games.

“I feel great,” Burakovsky stated after Thursday’s morning skate. “I felt good skating, was making plays, find myself in position where I find a lot of pucks. That has a lot to do with timing, but I feel good.”

“I like what I’ve seen from Burkie,” Kraken had coach Dave Hakstol said Thursday. “His effort has been good, the pace of his game is there, he’s obviously ready to be back in the line-up and we’re excited to have him back. In order to get the sharpness back in his game, which is what really distinguishes Burkie, his ability to make plays at speed in traffic, he just needs to continue to get time. That’s gonna come.”

Burakovsky was part of a Stanley Cup championship with the Washington Capitals in 2018 and the Colorado Avalanche in 2022, part of a pedigree a number of Kraken bring to the table. He’s also a dynamic puck handler on the rush and a player who finds open spaces for shot opportunities.

Yet all of those delightful tidbits only matter if his health holds up. Hopefully for the Kraken faithful, it’s a non-issue for the next 43 games and beyond.

Burkie is under contract in Seattle through the 2026-’27 season.

A member of Team Sweden for the 2014 World Junior Championship, Burakovsky and his mates lost the Gold Medal game that year to their arch-rival Finland. He told Seattle Hockey Insider that he’s loosely following the action this time around, especially since host Sweden won their semi-final on Thursday and will play Team USA for the Gold on Friday.

Earlier Thursday:

— Kraken Game Day 39: Streaks Alive, Healthy Schwartz?

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.