Tyler Bozak
Tyler Bozak
35-Year-Old CenterC
St. Louis Blues
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Bozak's three-year run in St. Louis was a disaster, as his numbers dropped all three seasons, culminating in a 5-goal, 17-point (in 31 games) effort in the 2020-21 campaign. Bozak missed the better part of two months early in the season with a concussion and was never able to get back on track. Bozak has never been a guy that shoots the puck much, meaning he needs substantial playing time alongside talented teammates in order to put up points. The 35-year-old remains unsigned late into the summer, and that, combined with his recent dip in production, makes Bozak a fade in all but the deepest of fantasy formats. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year contract with the Blues in September of 2021.
Re-signs with St. Louis
CSt. Louis Blues
September 14, 2021
Bozak signed a one-year contract with the Blues on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
Bozak drew into 31 games with St. Louis last season, picking up five goals and 17 points over that span. The 35-year-old vet should produce at a similar pace while skating in a middle-six role in 2021-22.
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    14:55
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    1:18
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    1:57
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
16:21
2:24
1:16
2019–20
15:19
1:35
1:24
2020–21
14:55
1:18
1:57
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Blues Power Play Depth Chart
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Bozak has scored exactly 13 goals in each of his first two seasons in The Lou, adding a combined 41 assists along the way. The 34-year-old is entering the final year of his three-year, $15 million contract; he escaped buyout and trade rumors this offseason. His offensive production is modest, and it's not trending up, as Robert Thomas is favored for a top-six center role. Bozak's power-play role should be secure because of his success winning faceoffs (55 percent), but that role could slip away as well if Thomas takes the next step at the faceoff dot. A natural two-way center, Bozak fits the third line well. He'll be difficult for fantasy managers to depend on.
When Bozak signed with the Blues, he stated that he did so because he wanted to win a Stanley Cup so badly. Mission accomplished. The 33-year-old pivot spent the majority of his time as the team's third-line center, compiling 38 points -- eight on the power play -- and firing 141 shots on net. With Ryan O'Reilly and Brayden Schenn still under contract, Bozak will likely stay on the third line flanked by David Perron. His production doesn't jump off the charts, and it's clear he won't carry a team to a fantasy championship, but Bozak is a worthy late-round pick in deeper leagues for owners looking for predictable production.
Bozak left the only NHL city he's ever known in free agency this past summer and headed to St. Louis. There, he'll be deployed in the role that best fits his assets: the third line. He can win faceoffs (53.6-percent career rate), play tough and is a solid leader on and off the ice. At 31, Bozak isn't the swiftest on skates, but he makes up for that with smarts. And while his overall production was down in 2017-18 (43 points), Bozak has averaged 50 points per 82 games since 2015-16. He could center Alexander Steen and Robby Fabbri, a third-line trio that will outmatch most opposing lines. The product is solid fantasy production.
Bozak is a savvy veteran who has consistently played over his head while in the NHL. He's not a first-line, nor necessarily a second-line center, so his possession numbers always suffered. Last season, coach Mike Babcock cut Bozak's ice time from close to 20 minutes a game to 17:20 and the center suddenly became dependable. His CF% (Corsi For Percentage) jumped from an abysmal 46.3 to a very good 52.5, and Babcock began trusting him to take important defensive zone faceoffs. Wow. This season, Bozak will suit up as the Leafs' second-line center. Gone are his days on the first power-play unit – there's just too much young sniping talent on a growing team for him to get that kind of ice. Bozak will once again be the go-to defensive zone faceoff man and see time on the second power-play unit. He'll be hard-pressed to hit the 45-point mark this season and may find himself ticketed to a contender in a deadline deal.
Bozak lost his buddy, Phil Kessel, over the summer. And he’s likely to lose his Leafs jersey in a trade before the season is too old. But for now, he’s likely to be Toronto's second-line center behind Nazem Kadri, and Bozak has a chance to resurrect his all-around game under the tutelage of new coach Mike Babcock. He’s always been miscast as a top-line center, so this new role will be better suited to his skills. Bozak needs to improve his own-zone play, and he’ll need to adjust to new linemates Daniel Winnik and P.A. Parenteau. At this point, he’s a sub-50-point player with a $4.2 million cap hit (through 2017-18). That’s too rich for a rebuilding Leafs team, so look for them to ship him to a more competitive team. That means whatever value he delivers early is likely to decline as the season wears on.
When will Leaf fans accept Bozak as their top-line center? No, he doesn't fit the profile of a typical first-line stud pivot, but there are really only about 10 of those in the league. His detractors say he doesn't have the speed, talent or body type to be his team's best guy, but his career arc just continues to climb anyway. Last season, he delivered a career-best 49 points in 58 games -- that's 69 points prorated to a full season. He would have finished ahead of Ryan O'Reilly of the Avs at that rate. Then there's this intangible: linemate Phil Kessel plays his best hockey when his best friend, "Bozie", is on the ice with him. Here's a guy that many might choose to avoid, but you shouldn't. He's a 65-point guy if he stays healthy.
Bozak isn't a traditional first-line center, but that doesn't mean he isn't a valuable cog in the Leafs' machine. So far, he hasn't scored more than 47 points in a single season. But he logs heavy minutes, plays both special teams, takes every important face-off and has tremendous chemistry with linemate and roommate Phil Kessel. Sure, he's already 27, but he has just three-and-a-half years of NHL experience and could still turn into a Mikku Koivu type over the next couple years. Watch for him to near the 60-point plateau this season and deliver you solid power-play production.
The much-maligned Bozak is starting to become the Rodney Dangerfield of centers -- he just doesn't get the respect he's due. Sure, he has been miscast as a first-line center, but he has uncanny chemistry with Phil Kessel. The Leafs will experiment with James van Riemsdyk as Kessel's pivot and, if that's successful, Bozak will slip down to the third line. Sit on him at the draft until you know where he slots in -- it'll be the difference between maybe getting 40 points or almost definitely getting 60.
Miscast as a top-line center last season, Bozak finally gets to play the lower-line pivot role that better fits his skills and development needs. We like him as a third-liner this season but that will all depend on Matthew Lombardi’s health. Still, with so many injury risks (Lombardi, Tim Connolly) at center ice, Bozak should see enough ice time to net close to 40 points. Just don’t count on him for power-play points, PIMs or hits.
Bozak was a complete revelation in 2009-10. It's not that we didn't believe in his skills; it's just that, well, we didn't believe he'd ever really translate them so effectively (and so quickly) to the NHL. He works hard, is smart and tenacious, and can skate and pass like a strong, second-line center. But he's a borderline fantasy center, though -- 60-point passers really only have a place in extremely deep leagues.
Bozak was another hotly sought-after college free agent from the NCAA ranks this past season. Over 20 NHL teams, including all the Canadian squads, had expressed interest in signing the Saskatchewan native who scored eight goals and 15 assists in 19 games with the University of Denver last season. He projects as a solid, two-way center with speed and top-notch face-off skills. He's going to be overrated to Leaf fans -- draft and trade would be a great idea.
More Fantasy News
Scores shorty for lone goal in loss
CSt. Louis Blues
May 21, 2021
Bozak scored a shorthanded goal on two shots and added three hits in Friday's 5-1 loss to the Avalanche in Game 3.
ANALYSIS
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Tacks on power-play helper
CSt. Louis Blues
May 19, 2021
Bozak notched a power-play assist and two shots on goal in Wednesday's 6-3 loss to the Avalanche in Game 2.
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Back for regular-season finale
CSt. Louis Blues
May 13, 2021
Bozak (rest) was minus-2 with two PIM and one shot on goal in Thursday's 7-3 win over the Wild.
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Returning from rest
CSt. Louis Blues
May 13, 2021
Bozak (rest) will be back in the lineup Thursday versus the Wild, Lou Korac of NHL.com reports.
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Getting night off
CSt. Louis Blues
Rest
May 12, 2021
Bozak (rest) won't be in the lineup for Wednesday's game versus Minnesota, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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