2023-24 Maple Leafs predictions: Tyler Bertuzzi scores 30 plus goals, sets career high in points
Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
By Joseph Zita21 days ago
Fresh off signing a one-year, $5.5M contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs in early July after testing the open market, I, along with many other fans, are excited to see Tyler Bertuzzi play on this team, especially in that top-six with those players.
Although he hasn’t played a game for the blue and white yet, most fans should know what Bertuzzi is all about.
The 28-year-old has spent his entire career so far in the Atlantic Divison split between the Detroit Red Wings, where he spent seven years playing, and the Boston Bruins, where he got traded to at the trade deadline this past season.
Bertuzzi left the Bruins — a team that made NHL history with the best regular season ever — to not only sign with a different team, but to sign with one of the Bruins’ biggest rivals, the Maple Leafs.
Although Bertuzzi has spent seven seasons in the NHL, he has had his fair share of injuries over that time and has never played in a full 82-game season. The most games he’s ever played in a season was 73 back in the 2018-19 season and the second most is 71 in the 2019-20 season.
Outside of those two years, Bertuzzi has averaged 36.4 games played a season in the other five seasons in the NHL – including the seven he played as a 21-year-old rookie in 2016-17.
If Bertuzzi can stay in the lineup for almost a full season and remain in the Maple Leafs’ top-six – which I think is very likely given his skill set – he could be in store for a massive season in what would be his second contract year in as many years.
His current career-high is 30 goals and 62 points in 68 games which he put up in the 2021-22 season. Over an 82-game pace, that’s 36 goals and 75 points. That’s very good if you ask me.
With a top-six group of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, John Tavares and Max Domi along with the skill set Tyler Bertuzzi has, another 30-goal season shouldn’t be a hot take for the Sudbury native whatsoever and him potentially setting a new career high in points shouldn’t either.
He’s going to be given top-six minutes along with power-play minutes, whether that’s the first unit or the second unit is to be determined, but with the history of this forward group scoring plenty of goals in the regular season, Bertuzzi should be in store for a massive season.
As Sportsnet Stats tweeted out when Sheldon Keefe signed his extension with Toronto, they have the second-most goals per game (3.52) in the entire NHL since his coaching debut in November 2019.
(All stats from Hockey-Reference.com)
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