The NHL Waiver Wire has been a busy place in the opening days of 2017. On January 2nd, the Arizona Coyotes claimed Alexander Burmistrov from the Winnipeg Jets and the New Jersey Devils claimed Reid Boucher from the Nashville Predators.
Arizona Coyotes and New Jersey Devils Look For Help with Waiver Wire Pickups
— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) January 2, 2017
Both the Coyotes and the Devils are basement dwellers, despite each team having some exciting young pieces on their rosters. For the Coyotes, Anthony Duclaire’s sophomore season has been far from impressive as he’s only on pace to score 16 points. Last season, Duclaire recorded 44 points in 81 games as a 20-year old. In addition to this, the Coyote’s third overall draft pick Dylan Strome was deemed unprepared to be a full-time NHL player when he was sent down to the OHL in November.
In the case of the Devils, the team got off to a strong start this season, going 10-7-5 through October and November. They’ve since gone 4-9-2 in December, falling from a Wild Card spot to second-last in the Eastern Conference with a measly 35 points.
Alexander Burmistrov and Reid Boucher Look For Fresh Starts With New Teams
After recording his third 20-point season in 2015-16, Burmistrov has failed to record a single goal for the Jets through their first 23 games. He has managed to get two assists, one of which came shorthanded. In an interview with NHL.com, Coyotes general manager John Chayka confirmed that the team sees more potential in Burmistrov than he’s currently showing. The team hopes a new environment and a change to his game will get his wheels turning.
As for Boucher, he’s a Devils draft pick who the team lost to the waiver wire earlier this season. In three games with the Predators, the 23-year old forward only recorded a single point in the form of a goal against the Minnesota Wild. Last season, Boucher recorded 19 points in 39 games with the Devils. He is the second player this season to be reclaimed by his original team after the Detroit Red Wings claimed Martin Frk back from the Carolina Hurricanes in November.
Boucher will likely report to the Albany Devils to re-join his teammates with the Devils’ AHL affiliate. Expect Burmistrov to draw into the Coyotes’ lineup sooner rather than later, as the team expects him to provide a much needed spark.