This is the third in a series of in-depth profiles covering each member of the Colorado Avalanche 2019 draft class. The entire series can be found HERE.
For their annual overage selection the Colorado Avalanche went back to familiar territory in the Brandon Wheat Kings for their third of four WHL acquisitions in the 2019 draft class and took Luka Burzan in the sixth round at 171st overall. The 6-foot 184 lbs left shot right wing is a speedy and energetic shoot first type of forward who has a knack for finding the soft spots around the net and uses his quick release to convert those shots into goals.
Burzan began his WHL career in 2016-17 with the Moose Jaw Warriors and had a solid 27 point rookie campaign in an energy type role. The following season in his draft year Burzan was buried under a deep lineup in Moose Jaw as he only put up 19 points in 42 games in the first half. Burzan was then traded to Brandon and became a teammate of Ty Lewis for a short while in a massive deal which also sent Kale Clague to Moose Jaw at the trade deadline. Burzan responded to the move producing 21 points in the final 30 games of the season and was ranked 91st in North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting but it wasn’t enough to get drafted. He did however get an invitation to attend the Ottawa Senators development and rookie camps on a try-out basis.
The following fall Burzan made a statement in one of the first games of the 2018-19 season where he scored six points including five goals earning himself CHL player of the week honors. Burzan went on to have a 78 point campaign capped off with 40 goals in 68 games. Improved production coupled with increased effort in his defensive game placed Burzan in the draft radar again with Central Scouting ranking him 126th among North American skaters his second time around.
Burzan has had a taste of international competition as a member of team Canada’s gold medal winning squad at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament. Hockey Canada must have kept Burzan’s performance in mind as he received an invitation to the World Junior Summer Showcase camp in late July. Perhaps a long shot to make the team but a good showing at the camp plus a hot start to the 2019-20 campaign could make Burzan an attractive option.
At development camp Burzan was a little quiet in drills but showed well in the 3-on-3 game as he scored two goals including the game tying goal and a little chemistry with Bowen Byram seen below. As one of the older forwards at the camp he took charge creating offense in the game and showed his sense for the time and space needed to score goals. Burzan will need to continue rounding out his all-around game and defensive commitment in addition to the scoring ability for future role versatility.
— Avs VOTE FOR NAZ (@Avalanche) June 29, 2019
As a January 2000 born player Burzan is only one year overage and is surely ticketed back to Brandon for his 19-year old season in the WHL. He would become eligible for the AHL within a year however and the Avalanche should look to sign him next spring if Burzan has another strong season. There won’t be many forwards available for the organization to sign at that time so Burzan could fit the bill as someone to fill out depth for the Colorado Eagles and begin his professional career as he works toward a NHL opportunity.
To conclude, a shift by shift compilation from Rudo3.
Credit Brandon Wheat Kings for the photo