Reviewing Burke's Moves - #1
Hey guys, i'm going to be writing about Burke's moves up to the deadline, reviewing them in-depth. Hopefully there's lots to write about!
Earlier this week, Brian Burke made a deal with the Dallas Stars to move them prospect Mikhail Stefanovich for Fabian Brunnstrom. I haven't seen much talk about this yet, so here goes.
Fabian Brunnstrom; the potential offensive stud that was the third player in NHL history to record a hat-trick his first game? Or the player that is oh-so often rushed into the NHL by a team, and has their developement ruined? Well, lets go back to the start of his career. Brunnstrom began his professional career in Sweden in 2005-2006, playing for Jonstorps IF, recording 44 points in 38 games. In his next year, he played for Borås HC, where he recorded a league-leading 73 points, in 41 games. His third year of professional hockey was played for Elitserien team Färjestads BK, putting up 37 points in 54 games. It was in his third year of pro that he really started to gather attention from NHL teams. Red Wings, and Canucks were said to be the front runner, but couldn't work out a deal to bring Brunnstrom to Canada. Eventually, on May 8th, 2008, Brunnstrom signed a 2 year entry-level contract, worth $.850m (US).
Since joining the NHL, Brunnstrom saw his fair share of good, and is now in the middle of his fair share of absolutely horrible. His first year of pro saw him put up 17 goals and 12 assists, for 29 points in 55 games. In his first NHL game, became the third player to ever record a hat trick in his first game. Since then, he has played in 44 more NHL games, scoring 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points. Bust? Presumably... but maybe not.
His pro totals show that he has incredible potential... for instance;
GP - 136
G - 67
A - 87
PIM - 51
That's a total 154 points, in 136 games... 1.13 points/game.
In NHL: (+ is AHL)
GP - 99 (+ 9)
G - 19 (+ 1)
A - 21 (+ 4)
PIM - 18 (+ 2)
That accounts for a total of 40 points, in 99 games... .4 points/game.
Obviously, there's no comparing the Swedish Leagues to NHL. They aren't anywhere close in skill level, BUT, you cannot argue the potential. Who knows, Brunnstrom could thrive within the Leafs organisation, or he could not.
Mikhail Stefanovich; a fair price to pay? Or did the Leafs just get incredibly ripped off? Stefanovich is 4 years younger than Brunnstrom, but does he have the same potential? Stefanovich started his playing career in his home country of Belarus, playing tier two there for HC Dinamo-2 Minsk and HC Homiel-2. After about two seasons of tier two, HC Homiel called him up to the Belarusian Eliteleague, where he finished off the season and created a name for himself on the North American scouting charts.
Upon arriving in North America and playing with the Quebec Ramparts, scouts soon noticed that Stefanovich needed to pick up his physical play, and that he wasn't a great skater.
Stefanovich's stats show that it WAS a good move by Burke:
His totals in Belarus are as follows:
GP - 42
G - 16
A - 9
PIM - 43
His totals in the QMJHL are as follows:
GP - 207
G - 124
A - 122
PIM - 89
Although Stefanovich's stats in the QMJHL look pretty nice, you cannot compare them to the current experience Brunnstrom already has... He may be younger, but I personally do not think he will develop into anything more than a minor player...
I say? Well done Burke, keep it coming.