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Top 25U25: Solid defenseman Kyle Burroughs comes in at #25

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Kyle Burroughs is a small but smart and reliable defenseman for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers who recently extended his contract for two more years.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
Burroughs is the kind of guy who could be a fan favorite, but will he ever make the jump?
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Kyle Burroughs came off a career high 25 points in 75 games for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, and earned himself a new two-year, two-way contract. His reputation as an aggressive but reliable defenseman on the smaller side (at only 6 feet tall, though some reports have him at 5’11”... ) means that he can be a pest for the opposition.

Jenny Spizzwolf Noel Fogelman Travis Flynn CIL Mike B LHH HockeyGoalieEh garik16 Dominik Steve
23 - - 24 20 - 20 26 (H.M.) - 24 -

At 23 years old, Burroughs is young enough that his game can take big steps forward, but on a crowded Bridgeport blue line, he hasn’t been all that productive compared to his younger teammates. Coupled with the fact that he isn’t a particularly fast skater, Burroughs has his work cut out for him. For a former 7th round pick (#196 in 2013), a solid and reliable AHL game is a pretty good spot.

The big question for him going forward with the Islanders is whether he can get to a level of play where he can beat out the many right-shooting defensemen on the big club roster, and with many of those players locked up long-term, he’d really have to “wow” coaches in order to do so. Still, he could be a solid injury replacement call-up and make the most of his opportunities, but most see his realistic NHL chances as a 6th or 7th defenseman.

Rationales

Here’s what some of our panelists had to say...

CIL:

The last few years, Burroughs has developed into a solid, defensive leader as a RD in BP. None other than Parker Wortherspoon himself credits him with helping his development. Admittedly, Burroughs is a bit of a long shot to make the NHL, but it wouldn't surprise if he did as a 6th or 7th RD. If he hits his ceiling, he'll be a fan favourite. If not, the benefit to the half-dozen small but fleet-footed LD coming up the pipe will certainly reap the benefits at the AHL level.

HockeyGoalieEh:

It's tempting to rank him higher, but I just cannot see him being an NHL player given the age and lack of production at the AHL level. If he does make it, he won't be much more than a seventh defenseman.

Previously:

The Roster Cuts