Capitals prospect chirping Team Canada

Capitals prospect chirping Team Canada
December 26, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Highlights: Ducks 3, Caps 2

June 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Andre Burakovsky poses for a photo with team officials after being introduced as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Washington Capitals during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center.

(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

Capitals forward prospect Andre Burakovsky created quite a stir over the weekend when he said Team Sweden has a better team on paper than Team Canada for the 2014 World Junior Championship being held in Sweden beginning on Thursday.

“I know what Canada brings and if I look at what they have and what we have … I think I can say that we have a better team on paper,” Burakovsky told Skanskan.se. “Then we'll see how they play and how it goes for us.”

With those quotes as a backdrop Burakovsky went into Sunday’s pre-tournament game against Canada a marked man. He responded with one goal and one assist in a 3-0 win for Sweden.

Not a bad start for a player the Toronto Sun called a “cocky prospect.”

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Taken by the Caps with the 23rd pick of the 2013 NHL draft, Burakovsky is having an outstanding rookie season with the Erie Otters of the OHL with 23 goals and 24 assists in 31 games.

“Canada has no 'skill player,'” Burakovsky said. “We are more round, more skill mixed. At goalkeeper … we are much better.”

When the tournament begins, the Canadians will be in a group with Germany, CzechRepublic, Slovakia and the U.S. The Swedes are grouped with Russia, Switzerland, Finland and Norway. Also representing the Caps in the World Juniors tournament are Americans Connor Carrick, Riley Barber and Thomas DiPauli.

On Sunday Barber, who attends Miami Ohio, was named captain of Team USA.