Burakovsky has surgery, out 6-8 weeks with upper body ailment

Carolina Hurricanes v Seattle Kraken

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 19: Andre Burakovsky #95 of the Seattle Kraken skates against the Carolina Hurricanes during the second period at Climate Pledge Arena on October 19, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

Andre Burakovsky will miss approximately the next two months to recover from an upper body ailment, the Seattle Kraken confirmed on Monday morning.

The exact nature of the injury was not disclosed and the Kraken confirmed he has undergone successful surgery to repair the issue. But Burakovsky, who was ruled out by the Kraken officially for six to eight weeks, was seen favoring an area around his shoulder on a hit he sustained in the right corner of the offensive zone from defenseman Jacob Trouba of the New York Rangers, in Saturday’s 4-1 loss for the Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena. 

Burakovsky did not return and Trouba, the Rangers captain who is well known for being a physically punishing defenseman, was issued a two minute penalty for boarding. 

On the present timeline, Burakovsky is projected to return between early to the middle of December. 

He is without a goal for the first six games. Burakovsky has two assists, both coming last Thursday in a 7-4 win over Carolina. 


For a squad that enjoyed a near-flawless season of health end route to the playoffs last year, they are now forced to address their second long-term injury issue in a matter of nearly two weeks after Brandon Tanev was knocked out of opening night on an awkward fall after taking a headshot from Vegas’ Brett Howden. Without question, Burakovsky’s loss is a tough and frustrating blow to their lineup, now forced to find answers for the absence of a dynamic forward lured to Seattle originally via free agency to upgrade their offense. 

When he’s healthy, he’s been productive. Coming off a 22-goal campaign two years ago during a Stanley Cup championship season in Colorado, he was well on his way to matching or breaking that total in his first season with the Kraken. He put up All-Star consideration numbers with 13 goals and 39 assists in 49 games, frequently earning top line ice time while stepping out of the shadow in previous stops, playing behind the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. However, he suffered a torn groin in February against the New York Islanders and was out for the season. 

His journey back to full health and production has quickly derailed, six games into the season, which also began without a goal. His last was an overtime winner against the New Jersey Devils, last season on Jan. 19 at Climate Pledge Arena. Assuming he is healthy by December, he will be facing a span of just six games in ten months, a likely challenge for athletic timing once he returns to game action. 

Without Burakovsky, the Kraken are now faced with the reality of filling his place by internally shuffling the lineup, by call-up from AHL Coachella Valley, or by other measures such as a trade or the waiver wire. His wrist shot is among the most lethal in the NHL, useful in top six scoring role minutes or on the power play. Until he returns, they will have to find passing lanes to the hands of Jared McCann or Eeli Tolvanen, each well known for their shot, or find ways to funnel pucks into high danger scoring areas for anybody who’s willing to go there. 

Burakovsky’s absence forced the Kraken into a radical spin of line shuffling for the remainder of Saturday night’s game. Before the injury, he was a winger with Eeli Tolvanen on Yanni Gourde’s line. How this sorts out before their next game on Tuesday in Detroit is perhaps hinging on potentially where Devin Shore, a call-up who was scratched on Saturday, fits in, along with any other moves deemed necessary from general manager Ron Francis. 

Do they go to the free agency pool? How about Patrick Kane in a Kraken jersey? Or Phil Kessel? Or Nick Ritchie? Josh Bailey, anyone? However, their cap space as of Monday morning sits over two million, which would likely require additional movement within the established roster.

Call-up candidates from Coachella Valley at the forward spot include Kole Lind, last year’s leading goal scorer who has a reputation for a game with menacing feistiness, John Hayden, who has a pair of points in two games and brings an imposing 6-foot-3 frame and willingness to drop the gloves, and Marian Studenic, a speedster forward who scored 21 goals last year in the AHL and is off to a great start with the Firebirds, carrying three points in the first two games. 

Other recall options include Shane Wright and Andrew Poturalski, but both naturally play at the center position, and the Kraken have all four of their centers (Matty Beniers, Alex Wennberg, Yanni Gourde, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare) currently healthy. 


“(Trouba) finished a check. I haven’t looked close at it. You might be able to make an argument it was bit late, or not. I’m not going to go there. I didn’t see anything egregious on it. Do I like it? No, we lost a player out of it. That’s where we’re at.” 

-       Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol on Burakovsky’s injury, after Saturday’s loss vs. the Rangers 

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