Don't let Alexander Burmistrov's standing in the Canucks' depth chart fool you. There aren't many more compelling talesthan the one he's scribed since first making the jump to the NHL as an 18-year-old eight seasons ago.At one point, it looked Burmistrov might be the type of building block centre a nominally rebuilding franchise like the Atlanta Thrasher,eventually the Winnipeg Jets, could build around for years to come. By his third season in the organization, though, Burmistrov had fallen out of favour with the Jets and was on the outs in every sense.What one Toronto Blue Jays Hats might generously describe as a difference in philosophy between Burmistrov and then-Jets head coach Claude Noel paved the way for a return flight to the KHL's Kazan Ak-Bars for the 2013-14 season. At the time, Burmistrov was a picturesque player through the lens of most generally-accepted underlying shot and goal based metrics who just couldn't score.With Burmistrov on the ice from the 2010-11 to 2012-13 seasons, the Thrashers/Jets controlled 50.5% of all shot attempts at five-on-five. Only a handful of players within that organization had a higher ratio of shot share than Burmistrov in that stretch. Considering how young Burmistrov was and the ineptitude of the team for which he played, andthat ismore impre sive than it might seem. And even with the ice so-tilted, Burmistrov tallied just 58 points over those194 games. It seemed obvious, though, that the goals would come. Eventually.When Burmistrov returned to the KHL, they did, for a time. Burmistrov had 63 points in 107 games. And with Noel out of the picture, the timing seemed right for a return to the team that first drafted him."When I went back to the KHL, I played in an offensive role," Burmistrov told Sporting News Canada. "First line and the first power play unit. I put up some points. I thought I played pretty good."Big production earned Burmistrov big promises upon his return. According to the 25-year-old Ru sian, the Jets promised a top-six role that just wasn't there to take."You know, Winnipeg wants me back, and they tell me 'youre going to play as a top six forward,' but when I came there, that role just disappeared. They never gave me the opportunity to play in the Toronto Blue Jays T-Shirts top six, so it never happened."MORE: Biznasty Does BC: NHL alum Paul Bi sonnette creates mockumentaryThe math checks out. Upon returning to the Jets lineup, Burmistrov played primarily in a checking role with considerably le ser talents. It's no surprise then that in the 15:02 of ice-time Burmistrov averaged per game, he wasn't able to score, even relative to the low benchmark he'd established in his first tour of duty. He had just 23 points in 104 games over the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with the Jets before recording 14 points in 26 games to close out last season with the Coyotes.Worse still, the element of Burmistrov's game that made him so valuable in spite of his uninspiring point totals had seemingly evaporated. When Burmistrov left the Jets, he was great defensively but couldn't score. The player that came back from the 'K could do neither. The Jets controlled just 47.45% of the shot attempts at five-on-five in the games he played duringhis second tour.Likely at this stage, Burmistrov would be happy to return to the player he was before his Russell Martin Jersey brief KHL stint. And this week, he showed that there's a glimmer of hope that the Canucks just might be able to bring that out of the perplexing project centre.Speaking to the media following the Canucks 3-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames, head coach Travis Green gave a room of reporters his characteristically tepid appraisal of his young centre."Offensively, hes done some good things on the power play -- in the time that hes played," Green said. "He hasnt hurt us defensively. Hes shown that he has a bit of an edge to his game. Defensively, hes been pretty good."Actions speak louder than words, though.With the Flames net empty and just a minute left on the clock, it was Burmistrov who was sent flying over the boards to secure the victory. The Flames mustered but one shot in that stretch, and Burmistrov's dogged competitivene s from below the hashmarks certainly played a role in keeping them in check.MORE: Derek Stepan brings winning pedigree to Coyotes"Oh, its huge when you go out there in the last minute," Burmistrov said. "Out there playing six- Toronto Blue Jays Jersey on-five -- I dont even know how to explain. Its just big for me. Its good when the coach places trust in you."That was the cherry on top of a night ripe with small victories for Burmistrov. His line scored the first goal for the Canucks, a Jake Virtanen wrist shot past Flames' netminder Mike Smith, and seemed to be exercising their rights to a timeshare in the Calgary zone. The Canucks controlled 57% of the shot attempts at five-on-five with Burmistrov on the ice, playing primarily against the Flames' vaunted 3M line of Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik and Matthew Tkachuk.Burmistrov credits his linemates for helping keep an NHL quality top-sixlinein check."I think Virtanen is a really fast guy -- so we were using our speed," explained Burmistrov. "On defence, we were always paying attention to make sure we werent caught. Myself and Sam Gagner are kind of similar players who can play with each other and try to find each other. It seems like, for me, hes always open and I always know where he is. It makes my game easier."One good night is just that though -- one good night. Burmistrov has been fairly critical of himself in camp, even admitting that he hasn't shown enough to date.After a night like Thursday, Burmistrov wants more. "I dont think Ive ever done enough. I always can prove something."MORE: Ranking teams' chances of bringing Stanley Cup Brett Anderson Jersey back to Canada in 2018Right now, it's as simple as proving that he's worth aroster spot where competition is tight. Brendan Gaunce's shoulder surgery gives an obvious opening on the Canucks' fourth line, but for how long?The Canucks are likely to ice a non-traditional fourth line, more bent on scoring depth than pugilism. In that framework, one can certainly make a case for Burmistrov. Taken a step further, we might have even seen what that line might look like and what they're capable of in Gagner, Virtanen and Burmistrov.They won't need Burmistrov to score like he did in the 'K, scoring line or not. But if he can keep the other team off the score sheet, like he did last night, there's a future in this league for Burmistrov. Certainly, a future on the Canucks' roster.