The Atlanta Thrashers had a very hot-and-cold drafting record during their years in the league. Patrik Stefan, the team’s very first pick, is infamous for his status as a bust (though he did play more than 450 games in the league), thanks in part to a missed open net. But the next year the team picked Dany Heatley and his 791 career points. It would continue to bounce back and forth between success and failure at the top of the draft alternating between Bryan Little and Boris Valabik.
The very last first-round pick they made, in 2010, fell closer to the failure side, at least in terms of NHL production. Alexander Burmistrov, selected eighth overall, would end up scoring just 101 NHL points before returning to the KHL in 2018. He has continued to play there ever since, and today switched teams, terminating his deal with Ak Bars Kazan to join Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
It’s been a disappointing season for Burmistrov, with just three points in 26 games for Ak Bars. The 31-year-old hasn’t been much of an offensive producer in recent years, but did win the Gagarin Cup in 2018. Regardless of how well he plays overseas, Thrashers (and Winnipeg Jets) fans will remember the frustrating talent that couldn’t put it all together a decade ago.
A return to North American hockey seems completely off the table at this point, as even Burmistrov’s KHL career appears to be winding down.