Burmistrov headlines list of players assigned to IceCaps

ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland and Labrador – Alexander Burmistrov has never set foot in the City of St. John’s, but the 20-year-old Russian has already created quite a buzz in the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
Over the weekend, Burmistrov was one of 13 players assigned to the St. John’s IceCaps by their parent organization, the Winnipeg Jets. He has already played two full years in the NHL and was expected by many to have a breakout season in 2012-13. IceCaps fans now hope that breakout will take place in St. John’s this fall.  
 
Burmistrov, who was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, tallied 13 goals, 15 assists and 28 points in 76 games with the Jets last season. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound center is known for his speed and playmaking skills and is expected to develop into a top-line center who consistently creates offensive opportunities for his wingers.
 
He made the NHL as an 18-year-old rookie in 2010, despite the fact most scouts believed he needed another season or two of junior hockey before he was ready for the show. However, his display of skill and speed was too much for the then-Atlanta Thrashers to pass up, as he stuck with the team throughout the 10-11 season, wracking up six goals and 14 assists in 74 games.
 
Burmistrov will most likely center the IceCaps top line, possibly teaming with fellow Russian Ivan Telegin, another 20-year-old Jets prospect who is expected to produce offensively for the IceCaps. The talented Russians could provide the IceCaps with the offensive spark they lacked for much of the 2011-12 campaign, particularly during the Eastern Conference final against the Norfolk Admirals, when St. John’s scored just two goals in four games.
 
A stint in the AHL, even if it is only for a portion of the 12-13 season, could also benefit Burmistrov’s progress. He will play top-line minutes and receive plenty of time on the power play; reaping a far bigger role in St. John’s than he likely would in Winnipeg at this point in his career.
 
In addition to Burmistrov and Telegin, the Jets also assigned Chris Carrozzi, Ben Chairot, Patrice Cormier, Jason Gregoire, Carl Klingberg, Julian Melchiori, Eric O’Dell, Will O’Neill, Eddie Pasquale, Zach Redmond and Cody Sol to St. John’s. All 13 players will be on the ice when the team opens training camp on Oct. 1 in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.
 
With the NHL going into official lockout mode on Sept. 15, many clubs sent their young players to the AHL so they can continue to play while the labor war is worked out between lawyers for both sides. The scene is identical to the lockout of 2004-05 when young players such as Jason Spezza, Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton, Jay Bouwmeester and Michael Cammalleri suited up in the AHL after playing as NHL regulars the previous season.
 
Contact Darcy.MacRae@prohockeynews.com
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