With the 16th pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft...

Alexander Burmistrov #7 of Team Orr poses for a portrait prior to the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game on January 20, 2010 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario. Burmistrov played for the Barrie Colts (OHL). (January 19, 2010 - Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images North America)

With the 16th overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, the Ottawa Senators select Alexander Burmistrov of the Barrie Colts.

According to scouts, Burmistrov would bring the Senators game-breaking offensive talent complemented well by his respectable defensive skills. He's listed as the NHL Central Scouting's #11 ranked North American skater. His biggest issue presently is that he's a far too skinny 159 lbs, although with time he should be able to pack a few more pounds on to his six-foot frame. He's also been knocked for problems with consistency, so that's another issue NHL teams would look for him to address.

Either way, Burmistrov scored 65P (22G, 43A) in the Ontario Hockey League and was huge reason the Colts won the Eastern Conference title in the regular season. Come playoff time, Burmistrov led the Colts to the OHL Championship with 16P (8G, 8A) in just 17 games. He also won a silver medal with Russia at the 2009 Under-18 World Championship, with 11P (4G, 7A) in 7GP, although he followed it up with just 4P (3G, 1A) in 6GP on Russia's disappointing team at this past year's World Junior Championship.

Scouts On Burmistrov:

  • "He's like a water spider out there on the ice. Light on his feet, but he's got a venomous strike like a snake when he goes on the offense. Speed and agility, great fakes and he'll bring players, fans, alike out of their seats. I'd compare him with a (Alex) Kovalev, (Sergei) Samsonov or (Maxim) Afinogenov."
       - E.J. McGuire, Director of Central Scouting
  • "Burmistrov is very skilled with the puck and able to make plays while at top speed, and does not panic when under pressure. Burmistrov is a speedy offensive threat who really takes advantage of the space his teammates can make for him. He has tremendous offensive instincts and is tenacious in offensive situations. A calm and calculated player during zone play, Burmistrov has outstanding edge control and balance and can change his pace before defenders can even think to adjust."
       - International Scouting Services 2010 NHL Draft Guide
  • "Burmistrov makes up for his lack of size with great puck skills and creativity and terrific hockey sense in all three zones. He plays a very mature game and is extremely responsible in the defensive end."
       - Red Line Report's Kyle Woodlief, writing for USA Today
  • "I don't care how dynamic you are, he's 146 pounds and built like Gilligan. But I like his compete level."
       - An unnamed scout, quoted in The Hockey News Draft Preview 2010

There is also another problem with Burmistrov, which most refer to as "the Russian Factor". Because of players like Alexander Radulov leaving North America to play back home in Russia, many teams feel taking a Russian player is a gamble, as it could lead to a wasted pick. TSN has a story on it here. The Senators have had issues with Russian draft picks in the past--Ilya Zubov and Alexander Nikulin both refused to report to Binghamton after not making the NHL, with Nikulin ultimately being dealt and Zubov just going back to Russia--so it's certainly a risk. But for a player with the skill set Ottawa so desperately needs, who's playing junior hockey in Canada and has made comments about being committed to the NHL, it's a risk the Senators should be willing to take.

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