33-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Islanders
Johnny Boychuk Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year, $42 million extension with the Islanders in March 2015.
Boychuk went minus-1 with two blocked shots, four hits and five PIM in Friday's 5-0 road loss to the Blue Jackets.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After a career year in his first season with the Islanders, Boychuk regressed by 10 points but matched a career high with nine goals in 2015-16. A Stanley Cup winner with the Bruins in 2011, Johnny B. owns a heavy right-handed shot which has proven to be a valuable asset in the borough of Brooklyn, as the defenseman has contributed almost half (18) of his career total (37) goals the past two seasons with the Islanders. In the non-fantasy world of hockey, however, points by a defensemen are merely icing on the proverbial cake. The 6-foot-2 rearguard has a penchant for using his massive frame to initiate contact and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line to block shots, so go ahead and hone in on him as arguably the most valuable fantasy defender on the Isles, up there with the more offensive-minded Nick Leddy.
A shocking acquistion just before the start of last season, Boychuk provided a veteran presence on an Islanders blue line that sorely needed one. His winning pedigree in Boston gave him added gravitas on a team that had seen decades of leaky defensive play since their four Stanley Cups in the 1980s. In addition to shoring up the Isles' play at the back end, Boychuk had by far his best offensive season last year, scoring nine goals and adding 26 assists. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Boychuk is able to provide physicality while not going over the line, as he only committed 14 penalty minutes last season. And after re-upping with the Islanders on a huge contract extension in March, Boychuk absolutely lived up to his billing as a shutdown rearguard in the playoffs, where he routinely stymied Alexander Ovechkin in the team's seven-game series loss to the Capitals. With the new contract in tow, Boychuk has come into his own as a top-pair defenseman in the NHL and a valuable roster piece in moderate-sized or deeper fantasy leagues.
While the sturdy Boychuk is not a major fantasy factor, he does possess a booming shot, which helped him record five goals and 23 points in 75 games for the Bruins this past season. At times, you’d think more of his shots would hit the back of the net, but the truth is, it’s Boychuck’s hard-hitting physicality that makes him a valuable top-four cog on the Boston blue line. Now in the final year of his current deal with the team, Boychuk – who carries a cap hit of $3,366,667 this season – figures to be tough to resign unless he’s amenable to a hometown discount. That said, unless the Bruins decide to move his salary in order to create cap room, he’ll continue to provide the team with a reliable and rugged defensive presence.
After scoring just one goal and six points in 44 regular season games, Boychuk really picked up the pace in the playoffs, racking up six goals and seven points in 22 games. Though the hard-hitting Boychuk is not likely to emerge as a major fantasy option next season, he does possess a dangerous shot and with a few more bounces in his favor - something he enjoyed this past postseason - he could wind up helping those in deeper formats in 2013-14. In any case, he’ll continue to provide the Bruins with a reliable and rugged blue-line presence, with any offense he chips in essentially a bonus.
With just five goals and 15 points in 77 games this past season to go along with 53 PIMs, Boychuck wasn’t much of a fantasy factor, but he was solid in the transition game for the B’s, recording a plus-27 rating. Though he’s only found the back of the net 13 times in 203 career NHL games, Boychuck does bring a cannon of a shot to the table and he’s not afraid to block the shots of his opponents, racking up 133 blocks last season
In some ways Boychuck regressed last season, though it's hard to get too down on a regular player on a Stanley Cup winning team. In 69 games, he recorded a line of 3-13-16, with a plus-15 rating. That's one point more than he racked up in his rookie year, but it took him 18 additional games to get there. One area where Boychuk more than held his own, though, was with his physical play. He hits hard and often and his shot from the point is a rocket. Boychuk is entering the final year of his contract with the B's and it's not hard to imagine him being more consistent and productive in 2011-12, especially if some of his blasts from the point are better placed. For now, he's a low-end fantasy blueliner, but that could change if injuries give him some extended power play time.
Boychuk went from a virtual unknown last season to an offseason priority for the Bruins, signing a two-year extension worth approximately $3.75 million this spring. Boychuk started last season as the team's No. 7 blueliner, but when given an opportunity, he proved he belonged in the NHL, ending up on the B's top defensive pairing with Zdeno Chara and racking up heavy minutes, especially late in the season and the playoffs. Heading into 2010-11, he could see a bump up from his 2009-10 production (15 points in 51 games) if he ends up seeing extensive power play duty, which is certainly a possibility.
Boychuck, who was named the AHL's best defenseman last season with 20 goals and 45 assists in 78 games for Providence, will likely stick as the B's sixth or seventh blueliner. At worst, he'll be the first blueline call-up if he doesn't break camp with the big club.
Boychuk played in four games with the Avalanche last season, spending the rest of his time in the AHL, recording eight goals and 16 points for Lake Erie. An organizational depth guy, he should spend the majority of the 2008-09 season in the minors
Boychuk has a nasty streak and is the kind of defenseman the Avs could use, but is just not ready for the NHL. He was assigned to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League in Sept. 2007.
Boychuk spent 2005-06 with Lowell of the AHL. He scored 32 points (six goals, 26 assists) in 74 games, and also recorded 73 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old has a chance to make Colorado's NHL roster this season, and is someone to consider late in keeper league drafts.