27-Year-Old Defenseman – Buffalo Sabres
Zach Bogosian Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year contract with the Jets worth $36 million in July of 2013.
The Sabres have opted not to protect Bogosian for the expansion draft.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Bogosian figures to see a huge uptick in both opportunity and output in 2015-16. That is, if he can bloody well stay healthy. It’s clear the skills are there -- he wouldn’t have been a former third overall pick if they weren’t. But Bogosian has only played one full season in the NHL since first lacing up his skates in 2008-09. Ouch. Bogosian is now the top dog on the first power-play unit in the City of Fires, and quite frankly, the only puck-moving defender with any sort of experience on the thin Buffalo blue line. He could deliver a point every other game, but just don’t count on him suiting up for the full season. Anything more than 60 games played are pure gravy. Draft accordingly.
Bogosian struggled through a number of injuries last season, including a groin injury, the flu and an upper body ailment, but was rather effective when he was healthy. He racked up three goals, eight assists and 48 PIM in 55 games, and while those numbers aren’t all that impressive, Bogosian made his impact felt in different aspects of the game. He’s more of a stay-at-home defenseman than partner Jacob Trouba, which works well for the Jets, although not so much for fantasy owners. He’ll pick up some points simply from playing alongside Trouba as the youngster’s game develops and he has shown some offensive ability before, picking up 30 points in 2011-12. But for the most part, Bogosian is a lot more valuable in real life than in fantasy leagues.
Bogosian was signed to a long-term deal this summer, as the Jets inked him to a seven-year, $36 million contract. Just 23, Bogosian's recovery from wrist surgery delayed the start of his lockout-shortened campaign, which was ultimately truncated by a concussion in late April. After potting 19 goals in his first two seasons in the NHL, the offensive output slipped but the quality of play in the defensive zone and the development of the talent around him have made Bogosian's plus/minus much more palatable. As the season progressed, things were just beginning to click for the young blueliner as he finished the abbreviated campaign with seven points over his final four contests. Now healthy, Bogosian should log heavy minutes while making a push to best his previous career high in points (30) and contributing a hefty supply of hits and blocked shots as well.
Despite missing 17 games to injury last season, "Bogo" still managed 30 points in 2011-2012, a career high. What's more, the American blueliner averaged a handsome 23:10 of ice-time per-game, also a career best. As long as the physical defenseman can stay healthy, he should provide late-round value for fantasy owners. He's still just 22-years old despite finishing his third NHL season.
Bogosian had his worst season as a pro in 2010-11 with a career-low 17 points and an utterly disappointing minus-27 rating. That's not the stat line you would expect from a former third overall draft pick, and with All-Star blueliners like Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien leading the charge, Bogosian's potential for substantial fantasy output is limited to say the least.
Bogosian has been slated as the “future” for the Thrashers' defense for the past two years but has yet to really take the big step to the next level. However, he has the talent, the hockey IQ, the size, and the drive to be a proven leader on the back end and simply needs to fine tune his game in order to be on the verge of a breakout season. His excellent skating ability gives him the edge on the opposition, and with another year experience in his pocket, he should have no problem improving on his 10-goal and 23-point performance last season. Bogosian is the type of young defenseman that should definitely be on your radar within keeper leagues, and makes for an excellent third or fourth blueliner in practically any fantasy league for 2010. Just be weary of the minus-18 rating that he put up on the board in 2009-10, although the Thrashers look to be an improved defensive team this year.
At the ripe young age of 18, Bogosian has set himself up for a nice sophomore campaign this season. After a devastating injury (broken leg) in late October, his rookie season looked quite bleak. But, he recovered in almost a miraculous fashion and returned in January to show what he can do. He tallied 19 points in the last 38 games of the season after returning from his injury, including 11 in his last 16 and showed his strength and puck handling ability. He has quite the shot on him as well, which he could use if he gets time playing the point with Kovalchuk. He’s young, but he has the tools to succeed in this league, and this could be his year.
Bogosian, Atlanta’s first-round pick in 2008, looked great at training camp. The Thrashers will look to give him some ice-time this season. Word on the street is he could be paired with Hainsey if he makes the team.