- The Washington Times - Friday, December 19, 2014

Andre Burakovsky, the 19-year-old forward who won the Washington Capitals‘ second-line center role out of training camp, has been assigned to Hershey of the AHL, the team announced Friday.

Burakovsky was a healthy scratch for the fifth time in six games on Thursday, when the Capitals defeated Columbus 5-4 in overtime. His playing time has dwindled significantly since the start of the season, when he averaged 14:07 of ice time over the first 10 games, to an average of 8:58 in the last six games he’s played, primarily on the fourth line.

The rookie has 13 points — four goals and nine assists — while playing in 26 of the Capitals‘ 31 games this season.

Because Burakovsky, Washington’s first-round pick in the 2013 first-year player draft, signed an entry-level contract this summer, he does not need to pass through waivers to play for Hershey.

The Bears play two games this weekend — at Lehigh Valley and at home against Springfield — and those games would provide Burakovsky ample playing time while the Capitals play Saturday at New Jersey.

Burakovsky’s demotion comes just days after the Capitals decided not to make him available to play for Sweden in the World Junior Championships, which begin late next week in Canada. Had Burakovsky participated in the tournament, he would have missed at least three of Washington’s games, including the Winter Classic against Chicago on Jan. 1.

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