If you follow me on twitter you know I am not a fan of Tyler Bozak and I have written about him in the past. As a Leaf fan I want to keep writing about his poor play because I really do not want to see him re-signed in Toronto. He isn’t a good player and simple does not deserve it, especially if he is going to be making upwards of $4M/yr on a 4+ year long contract. Let’s take a look at how he ranks in a variety of categories over the previous 3 seasons combined as well as this season.
The above are his rankings among other forwards (i.e. 219/324 means 219th among 324 forwards with >1500 5v5 3yr minutes, >300 5v5 2012-13 minutes, >400 5v4 3yr minutes and >75 5v4 2012-13 minutes. 2012-13 stats for games up to but not including last nights). For 5v5 ice time we are essentially talking the top 10-11 forwards on each team, or their regulars and on the power play we are talking the top 5 forwards in PP ice time per team.
In 3-year 5v5 goals, assists and points per 60 minutes of play Tyler Bozak is ranking approximately the equivalent of a good 3rd line player. The thing is, he is doing that while playing on the first line but his terrible IGP, IAP, and IPP numbers indicate he is doing a terrible job keeping pace with his fellow first line mates. If you look at his 3 year fenwick numbers (FF20, FA20 and FF%) which are on-ice stats you see when Tyler Bozak has been on the ice the Leafs have been mediocre at shot generation and terrible at shot prevention. Only a handful (literally, just 5 players) have a worse shot prevention record when they are on the ice.
On the power play things aren’t much better. He is second powerplay unit material at best but he is near the bottom of the pack in every assist and point generation and only a bit better in goal production.
Overall his numbers look a little better in 2012-13 but they certainly aren’t much to write home about, especially his IGP, IAP and IPP. He still looks to be a 3rd line offensive player with terrible defensive ability.
Another thing we can look at is his WOWY numbers with his most frequent line mate Phil Kessel.
|Bozak w/Kessel||Bozak wo/ Kessel|
When Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak are on the ice together they are not even breaking even. When Tyler Bozak is on the ice without Kessel they are significantly worse. Individually, Tyler Bozak has scored just 3 of his 26 5v5 goals (11.5%) and 8 of his 68 points (11.8%) over the previous 3 seasons when separated from Kessel despite playing nearly 20% of his ice time apart from Kessel. When not with Kessel his goal and point production drops significantly and as we know from above it wasn’t all that impressive to start with.
Not shown are Phil Kessel’s numbers when he isn’t playing with Tyler Bozak but they are generally better than when they are together. Phil Kessel when not playing with Tyler Bozak has a GF% of 50.4% and a CF% of 51.5% over the previous 3 seasons. Tyler Bozak appears to be a drag on Kessel’s offense.
The only argument you can for keeping Bozak is that the Kessel-Bozak-Lupul/JVR line has been productive and is working so why break them up. To me that argument only works when Bozak is making $1.5M and is not a significant drag on the salary cap but you can’t be paying a player $3.5-4M to essentially be a place holder between Kessel and Lupul/JVR.
Related News Article: James Mirtle wrote an article on the tough decision Leaf management has regarding the re-signing of Tyler Bozak.
(I am going to try and include a glossary in my posts for advanced statistics mentioned in the post so those not familiar with advanced stats can find out what they mean but a full glossary can also be found here).
- G/60 – Goals scored per 60 minutes of play
- A/60 – Assists per 60 minutes of play
- Pts/60 – Points per 60 minutes of play
- IGP – Percentage of teams goals while player was on ice that were scored by the player
- IAP – Percentage of teams goals while player was on the ice that the player had an assist on
- IPP – Percentage of teams goals while player was on the ice that player scored or had an assist on
- FF20 – Fenwick (shots + missed shots) by team per 20 minutes of ice time
- FA20 – Fenwick (shots + missed shots) against team per 20 minutes of ice time
- FF% – % of all shot attempts (shots + missed shots) while on ice that the players team took – FF/(FF+FA)
- GF20, GA20, GF% – same as FF20, FA20, FF% except for goals
- CF20, CA20, CF% – same as FF20, FA20, FF% but also includes shot attempts that were blocked (corsi)