The Edmonton Oilers added a new name to their training camp roster Wednesday morning.
The 28-year-old right-winger from Chelyabinsk, Russia is coming off a rather successful season with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL, scoring a decent 31pts in 50 games.
If you’ve been following the Oilers this summer this shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Rumours of interest between the Oilers and Burdasov’s camp have been circulating since late August. It seems that the other two teams with interest were the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.
Burdasov is an interesting addition to the mix of wingers currently attending Edmonton’s training camp. There are spots to be won in the top 9, including the left-wing spot beside Nugent-Hopkins on the 2nd line. Burdasov, as mentioned, scored at a respectable rate in the KHL last season but, as we’ve seen with KHL imports in the past, that doesn’t mean it will translate to success in the NHL.
Something that works in Burdasov’s favour is his shooting ability. The primary strength in his game is a blistering wrist shot and the fact that he is described as a purebred shooter. Outside of James Neal, Edmonton’s top 6 is devoid of players that possess a shot-first mentality. Playmakers like McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins could definitely use another trigger-man to put away their feeds.
However, there are also red flags when it comes to Burdasov joining the NHL. While he has a decent track record in the KHL, a very good league in its own right, it isn’t all that impressive when you look at some of the recent KHL busts to come to the NHL. There is also a question as to whether he can stay out of the box, as he was “awarded” the honour of being the KHL’s most penalized player during the 2018/19 season.
Luckily, the Oilers didn't make a concrete investment into Burdasov. A PTO is the right course of action for a player of his calibre and a contract, even on a 1-year deal, could prove to be problematic as he is an unproven commodity with a history of undisciplined play.
I expect we will see him in an Oilers uniform as soon as he gets to Edmonton.
Do you think Burdasov can earn himself an NHL contract? Let me know in the comments!