Will Alex Burmistrov return to the NHL?


Reports out of Russia indicate that 23-year-old Alexander Burmistrov intends to return to the NHL for the 2015-16 season.

Chosen eighth overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Burmistrov scored 23 goals and 58 points in 194 NHL games with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets before heading to the KHL. Differences with then head coach Claude Noel, as well as bitterness over being reassigned to the AHL rather than being able to pursue more lucrative offers during the 2012-13 NHL lockout, led Burmistrov to sign a two-year contract with Ak-Bars Kazan of the KHL.

The latest round of rumors of Burmistrov’s imminent return to the NHL were started by comments from Evgeni Medvedev, a teammate of Burmistrov’s in Russia who recently signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, who told a Russian media outlet that Burmistrov “will also leave the KHL for Canada.”

The Jets still technically own the rights to Burmistrov, who would return as a restricted free agent. Burmistrov had 20 goals and 43 assists in 107 KHL games.

Winnipeg’s current coach, Paul Maurice, has spoken out about his own experience coaching in the KHL, which he believes gave him a better understanding of Russian players. This could give the organization added incentive to re-sign Burmistrov in hopes that he blossoms into the first round talent they expected when they drafted him in 2010.

The Jets made the playoffs for the first time this season since 2006-07, when they were still the Thrashers.

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