Free agent forward Andrei Burakowski is joining the Seattle Kraken on a five-year deal worth 27.5 million.
The big winger is going through the best regular season of his career in which he scored 22 goals and 61 points in 80 games, including the Colorado Avalanche. Burakowski had a difficult start to the season after Nazem Qadri was injured to fill the top six vacancies for Colorado, but he reached the Western Conference finals.
He scored the biggest goal of his career so far in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay Lightning, the first win of the series by lighting up Colorado in overtime.
The biggest challenge facing the Stanley Cup champions in the pay-cap era is finding ways to keep the roster unaffected, and Avalanche made tough decisions on the left side of their roster this month. , Where Burakowski flourished last season. And Burakowski certainly had the ability to count on his regular-season numbers in free agency.
After Avalanche had already extended Valerie Nichushkin to an eight-year contract, Josh Manson to a four-year contract and Arturi Lekonen to a five-year contract, it was inevitable that one or two free agents would get out of the fray. Seattle general manager Ron Francis slammed his best player, Burakowski, for adding a dynamic presence to Kraken’s top six forward group.
A finisher in front of the nets who made maximum rebounds in that high-power Colorado system, Burakowski has learned how to stretch his 6-foot-3, 201-pound frame in front of the nets. He has scored 20 goals twice in his career and will start five points away from 300 in the NHL next season.
In 2013, the Washington Capitals finished 23rd overall, the former first-round draft pick, the experienced forward is now a two-time Stanley Cup champion from two different teams, a rare feat that many arbitrary free agents have done on their resumes. .
After the season, Colorado coach Jared Bedner often talked a lot about Burakowski, who doesn’t always get the power-play time of other avalanche stars, but always takes full advantage of his attack-zone time.
“That’s what Barkey can do. You put him in one place and he can finish,” Bednar said.