One of the most underrated NHL stories in 2012-13 was the mid-season shift Brent Burns made going from defense to the wing in San Jose. It was all part of the Sharks' efforts to jumpstart a slumping offense, and it worked out better than just about anybody could have expected.
In fact, Burns was so impressive after the move that the Sharks have decided to keep him there for the start of the 2013-14 season.
General manager Doug Wilson said it's still possible that Burns could move back to defense at some point down the road, but explained on Friday that the decision to keep him up front for now comes down to the current construction of the Sharks' defense, as well as Burns' ability to fit in with the Sharks' approach to offense.
"We feel very strong how our defense is constructed and how we expect them to continue to grow," Wilson said, via Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. "How we want to play up front and go after people and make them defend, Burnzie just fits perfect. He still will be able to play the point on the power play and we can utilize his big shot, but we saw how good he can be and how he can impact games as a forward."
In 23 games after the position change Burns scored nine goals to go with 11 assists. Only one Sharks forward, Logan Couture, scored more goals (10) over that stretch, while Burns finished the regular season fourth on the team in goals scored overall. He also helped generate a ton of shots for the Sharks as they outshot their opponents 198-147 with him on the ice during 5-on-5 play as a forward.
Here's a look at every goal he scored as a forward during the 2012-13 regular season. He looked right at home.