The youngest Caps is getting older today. At least, the youngest in the current regular team. Born at 9 Feb. 1996, Andre Burakovsky turns 22 years old today. Bura is one of the Swede Caps’ player. He was born in Austria, when his father, also a hockey player and former Ottawa Senators, was playing there. Burakovsky was drafted by the Caps in 2013 as the 23rd overall. His debut in the NHL was in the 2014-15 season. The young player walked a long way before turning one of the most important players in this team.
Burakovsky scored his first goal in his NHL debut, at 9 Oct. 2014 against the Montreal Canadiens. It was also the Caps’ first game of that season, but fell to the Habs by 2-1 (SO). Slowly, he got his space in the team, alternating between the Capitals and their AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears. Burracuda had a great game during the playoff series against the New York Rangers, scoring the goals in the 2-1 victory, was named 1st Star of the Game and gave the Caps a 3-1 lead in the series, but would blow it by 4-3. Last season, when the Caps have conquered their second Presidents’ Trophy, the team had a great start, but not Bura, who used to be seen very upset during the practices. He didn’t score in 25 games, between 23 Oct. and 30 Dec. But gradually, he was finding his role in the main team. His definitive rise was during a team’s adversity. At January 2016, Jay Beagle had an injury and Burakovsky got up to the top-six. Playing with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams, his production increased and he’s got his space in the team definitely.
This season, Burakovsky had some great individual achievements: he played in the first line with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov during the Caps’ road trip to Canada. Also, he has tied an NHL record for most consecutive team games scoring the first goal and became the Caps’ player leading the subject, writing his name in franchise history. This season, the 10-20-65 (Connolly-Eller-Burakovsky) unit scored 21 goals in the last 21 games. So, the Caps have a “top-nine” now. And Burakovsky is certainly an important piece, playing a great role in another great season by the Caps. If this team is still gonna play like this, we can surely expect great achievements.