Forward Andre Burakovsky, 'a streaky scorer,' secures five-year contract from Seattle Kraken

Andre Burakovsky gives the Avs a 3-0 lead (0:32)

The Avalanche keep the pressure on as Andre Burakovsky nets a goal to push their lead to 3-0. (0:32)

Free agent forward Andre Burakovsky is joining the Seattle Kraken on a five-year contract worth $27.5 million, it was announced Wednesday.

The big winger is coming off a career-best regular season in which he scored 22 goals and 61 points in 80 games with the Colorado Avalanche. Burakovsky had a tough start to the postseason but rallied in the Western Conference finals after Nazem Kadri was injured to fill a top-six void for Colorado.

He scored the biggest goal of his career to date in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, lighting the lamp in overtime to secure Colorado the first win of that series.

The signing was part of a busy first day of free agency for the Kraken, who also worked out deals with defenseman Justin Schultz (two years, $6 million), goaltender Martin Jones (one year, $2 million), goaltender Magnus Hellberg (one year, $750,000) and defenseman Brogan Rafferty (one-year, two-way deal).

Shane Wright, the No. 4 overall pick in last week's draft by Seattle, also signed his three-year entry level deal on Wednesday.

"This is just the beginning, and I'm really excited about what lies ahead," Wright said.

One of the major problems, if not the biggest problem, that Stanley Cup champions face in the salary-cap era is finding ways to keep rosters intact, and the Avalanche indeed had tough decisions to make across their roster this month, including at left wing, where Burakovsky thrived last season. And Burakovsky certainly had the ability to rely on his regular-season numbers in free agency.

After the Avalanche already extended Valeri Nichushkin on an eight-year deal, retained Josh Manson on a four-year pact and Artturi Lehkonen on a five-year contract, it was inevitable a free agent or two would slip through the cracks. Seattle general manager Ron Francis pounced on Burakovsky, a player at his best, to add a dynamic presence to the Kraken's top-six forward group.

A finisher in front of the net who made the most of rebounds in that high-powered Colorado system, Burakovsky has learned how to maximize his 6-foot-3, 201-pound frame in front of the net. He has hit 20 goals twice in his career and will begin next season five points away from 300 in the NHL.

A former first-round draft pick, selected No. 23 overall by the Washington Capitals in 2013, the veteran forward is now a two-time Stanley Cup champion from two different teams, a rare feat that many unrestricted free agents don't have on their resumes.

During the postseason, Colorado coach Jared Bednar often spoke highly of Burakovsky, who didn't always garner the type of power-play time that other Avalanche stars did but always seemed to make the most of his attack-zone time during the title run.

"That's what Burky can do. You put him in a spot, and he can finish," Bednar said. "He's a streaky scorer, and when he gets opportunities, he can put the puck in the net."