After winning his second career Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, former Washington Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky elected to pick up and set off on a new journey, this time with the Seattle Kraken. There, he hopes not only to win but get something he hasn’t felt he’s had yet: more responsibility.
Burakovsky signed a five-year, $27.25 million contract with the Kraken to open free agency. The 27-year-old spoke with the media for the first time on Thursday, and said that Seattle appealed to him on a number of levels. He also spoke with former Capitals teammate Marcus Johansson to learn more about the club.
“I think this is a team that’s really looking good on paper… it’s a team that has some potential to become a great team and accomplish those things. I want to be riding along on that journey and being a part of this team growing for every season,” Burakovsky said.
For Burakovsky, though, opportunity was the most important thing as he put his pen to paper. With the Kraken still laying the foundation for the franchise and building a winning culture, they need stars and leaders. Burakovsky thinks that he can provide that and wants to show that he can lead by example and be a full-time top-6 player.
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He doesn’t think he got to do that with the Capitals, let alone with the Avalanche.
“I want to get a bigger role and play more and take on more responsibility and be a little more of a leader,” Burakovsky said. “For me, I just want to get better every day. And to become better, you need to play more and take on big responsibility. When I was in Washington, I was kind of far behind Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, all those guys. Then I came to Colorado, I was kind of in the shadow of MacKinnon, Landeskog and Rantanen and those guys.
“Now I kind of want to develop into more of a leader player and kind of show the way for the younger guys and just become a better player overall.”
Over five years in Washington, Burakovsky dished 62 goals and 83 assists in 328 NHL games. He experienced inconsistency time and time again. After winning a Stanley Cup and experiencing more ups and downs, the Swede headed to Colorado following an offseason trade. There, he continued to shine and show his potential as a 20-goal scorer and clutch forward, but he continued to struggle with consistency and dealt with healthy scratches to boot.
Now, with the Kraken, he will get the chance to put that behind him. Not only that, but he will also get to do it with several former Capitals in Philipp Grubauer, Michal Kempny and Justin Schultz, among others.