Andre Burakovsky arrived in Erie late Wednesday night. His luggage – as well as his hockey equipment – took much longer to get here.
“It liked Paris,” he said with a smile after watching his new teammates participate in morning workouts at Mercyhurst Ice Center. “It stayed there for awhile.”
Burakovsky, the fifth overall pick in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, had to wait until today to make his long-awaited Otters debut. Yet after a long trip from his native Austria, which included dealing with confusion with his ticket, buying a new ticket and then a layover in the French capital, he was happy to finally join his new team. “I’m finally here, and I’m glad for it,” Burakovsky said.
He looked forward to joining his new team on the ice for today’s scrimmage. “It should be really fun. I like everyone so far,” he said earlier in the day. “I want to go out on the side and have fun with the other guys.” Yet his luggage was still in Paris when the game began.
Burakovsky seemed to take it in stride. He’s used to being patient.
He took his time before deciding to join the Otters. “It was very important for me to make the right decision,” he said. The Washington Capitals (which picked him 23rd overall in the NHL Entry Draft earlier this summer), his agents and family” believed “it will be good for me to play in Erie and the OHL,” Burakovsky said. “I just had to come over because I think I can play a lot here and be a leader for the team. I think it could be really good for me and my future to play in Erie.”
- Victor Fernandes