With their first round draft pick Atlanta has chosen from the Barrie Colts, center Alex Burmistrov. Alex could be the play making center that we've lacked since Marc Savard left. He's a hard worker and has lots of speed and talent. He's also very competitive and has good hockey sense. Alex's role model is Pavel Datsyuk and he hopes to play like him. He is already being compared to Max Afinogenov.
The one knock on him is is size. He's listed at 160, but that's being generous. One scout said:
Another worry is his nationality. With no agreements in place with the KHL, teams are sometimes hesitant to draft Russians. The Alexander Radulov saga with Nashville is still fresh in some minds. Thrasher fans have also been through some Russian turmoil with Ilya Nikulin. TSN had a video about the possibility of Burmistrov heading for the homeland and the KHL:
"You have to see this kid in his UnderArmour to understand what he needs to do." I don't care how dynamic you are, he's 146lbs and he's built like Gilligan. But I love his compete level."
Alex put fears at rest by saying he hates the KHL, it's a league for old men and it's not for him! Let's hope not. I can't wait to see Alex at prospect camp.