Likely his last season as a Maple Leaf, Tyler Bozak was able to play well in a limited role. A different change of pace than he has had in the past, but now it’s other center’s turns to play next to elite wingers.
The longest-tenured Leaf had a somewhat surprising successful goodbye party.
|GP||GOALS||ASSISTS||POINTS||CORSI % (5V5)||xGF% (5V5)|
Although his numbers don’t really pop out at you, Bozak had a very good season for what you want out of your 2nd/3rd-line center. In all situations, Bozak was sixth in P/60 with 2.02, just behind Kadri with his 2.04. In his role, Bozak still puts up the right amount of points.
For the last three seasons now, Bozak is an above-50% 5v5 Corsi player, and his 52.36 this year was his highest in that span. Although a strictly offensively-used player, Bozak was still able to create more scoring chances than the other team. That is pretty evident when you view his xGF%. Among Leafs that have played at least 20 games this season, Bozak is at a respectable fourth and his linemate James van Riemsdyk is second in the same category. His line was used primarily when the Leafs had offensive zone faceoffs, but it was still able to play a successful role on this Leafs team.
Tyler Bozak’s numbers didn’t really surprise me. Given proper usage, he can probably still provide mid-level production to whichever team signs him this summer. pic.twitter.com/3Tlh1cWCA0
— Ziggy (@Ziggy_14) April 21, 2018
As Ziggy stated in his tweet, Bozak didn’t really surprise me here. The two noticeable aspects were both individual-based metrics, meaning that he can’t really be depended on to create a ton by himself but he can be a nice passenger on a very good line.
It seems that his instructions were to just pass the puck to either of his wingers and go from there.
He played his role on this team well but did not exceed expectations. He is an offense-first type of player and he provided that offensive depth that brought the Leafs to one of their best seasons in team history.
Bozak has a son named Kanon – it makes more sense when you realize Bozak is from Saskatchewan.
His tenth of the eleven goals he scored this year, Bozak was able to score on a nice little cross pass from Mitch Marner. This goal demonstrated how lethal this powerplay group was this whole season. Watch the entire lead-up to the goal and you won’t question the numbers that they produced.
Bozak is a UFA on July 1st and I don’t think there will be a new contract coming from Toronto. He has served his role as arguably the best College Free Agent signing in history, but Bozak’s time in Hogtown is done.
The money that he will likely earn somewhere else, should be used towards the young talent that will be needing contracts in the upcoming offseasons. Bigger things to worry about than your 32-year-old 3rd-line-center signing somewhere else for more money.
We can be a little sad – but then laugh hysterically as the Canucks sign him on a long-term big-money contract.