NHLN Notebook: Burmistrov, Halak to the AHL, Dahlin, and Colorado searches for Defense

Christian Pagnani
January 03 2017 10:38AM

The Coyotes claim Alex Burmistrov, the Islanders want to get rid of Jaroslav Halak, Rasmus Dahlin is making a name for himself, and Colorado might be willing to part with Matt Duchene or Gabriel Landeskog for a good, young defenseman.


The Arizona Coyotes have added another played from waivers, former 2010 eighth overall pick Alex Burmistrov. Burmistrov is similar to other depth players Arizona has recently been stockpiling such as Josh Jooris and Peter Holland. All three are fairly young hovering around age 25, but have limited ability and figure more as replacement players for when the Coyotes sell off pending unrestricted free agents like Martin Hanzal, Radio Vrbata, and Michael Stone, or even potentially Shane Doan if he wishes to make that move.

Burmistrov can play centre or wing and is somewhat capable offensively despite only having two points in 23 games this season, but he isn't the same player that would positively impact his team's shot-attempt differential the way he did before leaving to Russia. Burmistrov enjoyed some success in the KHL accumulating 63 points in 107 games with Ak Bars Kazan, but since returning to the NHL Winnipeg has seen a better share of the shots with Burmistrov on the bench rather than on the ice. 

Burmistrov as a filler makes sense for the Coyotes as they gun it for the highest pick possible. Burmistrov is a restricted free agent at the end of the season so Arizona can simply not qualify him if they choose to move on.


After carrying three goalies all season the Islanders fixed their cluttered crease by waiving Jaroslav Halak and assigning him to their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport.

Jaroslav Halak is clearly still a NHL-caliber goaltender. His .904 save percentage this season and 4.5 million cap hit won't endear him much to other teams, but Halak's career save percentage is .916 and he just recently backstopped Team Europe to a World Cup of Hockey finals finish. Fitting in Halak's money will be difficult for a lot of teams. CapFriendly notes that only eight teams have the project 2.5 million cap space to take on Halak, but the Islanders will almost assuredly have to take on another contract to move Halak.

Halak doesn't have any trade protection in his contract so he can be easily exposed in the upcoming expansion draft. Halak should draw some interest around the league to those with subpar goaltending like Carolina, Dallas, or Winnipeg.


With the 2017 IIHF World Junior championship underway Rasmus Dahlin is drawing some significant attention. Rasmus Dahlin is already performing the rare feat of being a 16-year-old defensemen playing a regular shift in the Swedish Hockey League, something only two NHL drafted defensemen can claim, Calle Johansson and Oliver Kylington, meanwhile, Timothy Liljegren is projected to be a top-3 pick this year. The World Juniors is just another venue for Dahlin to show that maybe this is a player that should be followed a bit closer.   

It's incredibly difficult for a 16-year-old defenseman to play at the World Juniors. Only 18 defensemen have done it and Rasmus Dahlin is already third in scoring with time to spare. Dahlin isn't eligible for the NHL draft until 2018 so he has flown a bit under the radar with most focusing on this year's draft, but Dahlin has more eyes on him especially with top 2017 draft prospects Nolan Patrick and Timothy Liljegren missing the tournament with injury.

It's easy to see why people are excited about Dahlin's potential. While Liljegren is waiting to enter the draft this June, both Johansson and Kylington look like very strong picks. Johansson scored over 500 points in his NHL career as and Kylington has 25 points in 72 AHL games as a teenage defensemen. Dahlin will have plenty time to boost his stock and be a top draft pick in 2018.


On Saturday's Headlines segment Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman talks about the Colorado Avalanche and the teams circling around them trying to pick from the carcass of a struggling team.

Friedman says the Avalanche have told teams "don't ask us about Nathan MacKinnon and don't ask us about Mikko Rantanen," but have said that they "are prepared to listen" if teams offer a good young defenseman or young defensemen prospects. Although, Friedman notes that "the packages are going to have to be big" considering how young Duchene and Landeskog are and the strength of their contracts.

The Avalanche are in a difficult position being at the bottom of the standings and trying to make a deal to fill a position of weakness. There's a fine line between making a Ryan Johansen for Seth Jones trade and a Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson trade. There will no doubt be many of the latter available, but the Avalanche will have to sort through the sharks circling and see if there's a fit like there between Columbus and Nashville.

Stats from hockey-reference.com, stats.hockeyanalysi.com, quanthockey.com, and eliteprospects.com. 

I like to read and write about sports. I'm @chrispagnani on Twitter.