30-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Darryl Boyce Contract Information:
Signed a one-year deal with the Leafs in July of 2011.
Boyce played 8:27 in Tuesday's loss to Detroit, his first game with Columbus since being claimed on waivers Saturday.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Even on a roster as depleted as Columbus's, Boyce is a depth forward who'll win some faceoffs on the fourth line. He won't see enough time on ice to consistently create offense.
Boyce is one of those guys who’s absolutely loved by his coaches. He’s eager and unbelievably teachable, and he’ll say ‘how high?’ before you even say “jump.” But for all those intangibles, he’s nothing more than a reliable journeyman who’s in tough to even break camp with the Leafs this year. His two-way deal all but guarantees a start in the AHL given the team’s free-agent additions this summer and when he does arrive, his ice time will be restricted to the fourth line.
Slowly but surely, Boyce is becoming a career minor leaguer. We're pulling for him -- he came to pro hockey via the very non-traditional route of Canadian university hockey. But he may not be able to be anything more than a third or fourth-line NHLer. Or worse, he may never get there.
Boyce is a no-frills, utilitarian centerman who toiled all last season in the AHL. There he recorded 30 points and 131 PIMs in 73 games. He fits the profile of a Brian Burke player but he doesn't have the kind of offensive skill to be anything more than a lower-line guy. And this year, he may find himself back in the AHL. Time is running out on this 25-year-old.
He's a minor leaguer; nothing more and nothing less.
Boyce went undrafted out of the OHL and headed off to the University of New Brunswick where he won rookie of the year in 2005-2006. He was named the most valuable player when UNB won the 2007 University Cup, Canada's national university championship. He walked onto a spot on the AHL Marlies with a strong training camp and was rewarded with a contract after scoring six goals and 22 points in 32 games. He will have marginal fantasy impact -- he's a depth guy only. But what a great story.