Mar 112013
 

There has been a fair bit of talk recently about Tyler Bozak and what the Leafs should do with him as he is clearly not suited for his #1C role but is set to be a UFA this summer and if the Leafs intend to keep him he’ll need a new contract.  To get an idea of his worth, I decided to see if I could identify a few comparable players.

Let’s start off offensively. The first thing I looked at was primary points per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time (primary points = goals + first assists). From last year through this past weekend’s games Bozak had a PrPts/60of 1.085 so as an initial cut off I pared down the list of comparable players to forwards a PrPts/60 of between 1.00 and 1.20 and who have had at least 1000 minutes of ice time. There are some pretty good players in this list such as Ryan Getzlaf, Stephen Weiss, Tomas Plekanec and Daniel Breiere but there are some less talented players like Eric Nystrom and Marcel Goc.

The next thing I considered is Primary Points Percentage (PrPts%), or the percentage of goals scored while the player was on the ice. Tyler Bozak’s PrPts% is a relatively weak 41.24% (Getzlaf, for example, is 52.38% and Plekanec’s is 56.22%). I then pared down the list to just include centers and this is what I came up with as comparable offensive centers, sorted by PrPts%.

Player Team PPts/60 PrPts%
NIELSEN, FRANS NY Islanders 1.091 47.98%
SMITH, ZACK Ottawa 1.008 46.67%
VERMETTE, ANTOINE Phoenix 1.173 46.55%
LETESTU, MARK Columbus 1.138 46.32%
NUGENT-HOPKINS, RYAN Edmonton 1.182 46.14%
ZUBRUS, DAINIUS New Jersey 1.12 45.31%
KRUGER, MARCUS Chicago 1.115 43.78%
HANZAL, MARTIN Phoenix 1.078 42.27%
STAJAN, MATT Calgary 1.064 41.87%
BOZAK, TYLER Toronto 1.085 41.24%
KOIVU, SAKU Anaheim 1.15 38.49%

That is a list of mostly 2nd and 3rd line centers along with not yet fully developed Nugent-Hopkins. So, what about Bozak defensively? To evaluate defensive play I looked at the players 5v5 corsi events against per 20 minutes (CA20) and the ratio of the players CA20 vs his team mates CA20 when they are not playing with him (TMCA20). This gives us an indication of whether their team mates are improving their defensive stats while on the the ice with the player.

Player Name Team CA20 CA20/TMCA20
ZUBRUS, DAINIUS New Jersey 14.309 0.77
LETESTU, MARK Columbus 17.034 0.90
STAJAN, MATT Calgary 17.312 0.91
HANZAL, MARTIN Phoenix 18.122 0.93
VERMETTE, ANTOINE Phoenix 17.762 0.97
NIELSEN, FRANS NY Islanders 18.307 1.01
KOIVU, SAKU Anaheim 17.114 1.02
SMITH, ZACK Ottawa 18.771 1.04
KRUGER, MARCUS Chicago 15.940 1.05
BOZAK, TYLER Toronto 21.155 1.08

For CA20/TMCA20, the lower the number the better as this indicates their line mates CA20 is better with the player than not with the player. Bozak ranks dead last in this category and also ranks dead last (by a significant margin) in CA20.

So, what does this tell us about Tyler Bozak?  Well, it probably means he has 3rd line offensive ability but it is very questionable whether he is good enough defensively be a useful 3rd liner. As for the best comparable to Tyler Bozak, I’d have to say either Marcus Kruger or Matt Stajan or maybe Frans Nielsen but Bozak is probably somewhat below all of them in terms of value due to his poor defensive play.

 

  5 Responses to “Tyler Bozak comparables…”

  1.  

    Are there any bargain centers the leafs should be looking at?

  2.  

    That’s a bit like asking “are there any ugly girls I should consider dating?”

    There might be one, but don’t expect the evaluation process to be enjoyable.

  3.  

    Totally incomparable scores, look at the work ethics, team/line achievements, face off wins in the defense zone etc. etc.
    If the leafs were to lose #42 it would be disastrous, because the opposition would have his benefits that we badly need.

  4.  

    These numbers are great and all but how many centers actually allow their winger to control the play i betting none. Kessel likes to have the puck and control the play so as soon as Bozak gets it he gives it to him. Bozak then covers kessel then straight to the net. Bozak does everything a center does he’s not an over powering forward he rarely makes mistakes he is a team player. He gets the job done where’s the problem I know he’s not elite center like gilmour or sundin this is what you all want thats the problem 2 elite wingers and an elite center hey why stop there be NYR or Pitts lets have all the stars Toronto can afford it why not.

    •  

      Most centers don’t allow their wingers to control the play because most centers are better than their wingers.

      I could accept Bozak’s lack of skill with the puck and lack of point production if he was offering benefits elsewhere. Specifically, if he was a solid defensive player. I’d be happy with a 40-50 point 2-way center between Kessel and Lupul, just not a 40-50 point weak defensive one. For a guy who gets a ton of ice time and PP ice time with high end offensive players, being just a 50 point player and being weak defensively is simply not acceptable, especially if he is going to demand >$3M/yr on a new contract.

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