The Capitals signed 2013 first-round draft pick Andre Burakovsky to a three-year, entry-level contract Wednesday. The deal is worth $832,500 annually at the NHL level and $70,000 per season at the AHL level, before bonuses.
Burakovsky, 18, is in Washington this week to take part in Capitals rookie camp but will ultimately spend the 2013-14 season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Erie Otters.
Since Washington selected Burakovsky 23rd overall in this year’s draft, General Manager George McPhee has made it quite clear that the young winger likely won’t compete for a spot in the NHL for two years. That sentiment didn’t change after Burakovsky’s participation in development camp this July, when McPhee reiterated that the young forward needs to work on his strength.
The Capitals are pleased that Burakovsky opted to make the transition to North America this season and join Erie. Earlier in the summer Burakovsky wasn’t sure whether he was ready to take that step, but McPhee urged him to play in the OHL.
“I met with him when we were wrapping up [development] camp and told him it’s a real good opportunity for him to play in Erie, play in the OHL, get used to the North American rink and understand the North American game,” McPhee said in August. “That we really believe that’s what’s best for [his] development. The kid was terrific. He said if that’s what you want me to do I’m going to do it.”