Emerging Secondary Pivots

Dobber Sports

2010-09-19

Bozak

 

Why these young centermen will clear 60 points this campaign


In with the old and out with the new. You see it every season. A young forward joins the ranks of 60-point players, replacing an older forward who habitually got there throughout his career, but now falls short. Don't underestimate these players at the draft table, as they are part of the next wave.

 

Tyler Bozak, Toronto – Last October, in his first career NHL game, Bozak picked up an assist. In his second career game three months later, he picked up another one. He would add three points in his next three games and never looked back. The late bloomer was not drafted, but there was a rush of NHL teams eager to sign him in April of 2009. But none of those teams saw this kind of potential. He does not look out of place on the first line, though he will have to put up big numbers to earn his stripes as a "legitimate No.1 center". He showed a lot of chemistry with Phil Kessel – and he played with him approximately 85% of his shifts. In 37 games, his point production extrapolates to 60 and there is little reason to think that he can't build on that.

However, there is a question about his durability that you should be cautious about. Not a very strong player, or a big one for that matter, Bozak missed most of his final season in college with a knee injury. He also missed some time in the American League as a rookie thanks to an ankle injury (and the flu, but that's not an injury concern). As with all young players, it is difficult to peg fragility, though some show more signs than others. Draft him with the other 60-point centers, but recognize that he could give you close to 70 if he remains healthy, or close to 40 if he doesn't.

 

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Tomas Fleischmann, Washington – The production trajectory is clear: 0.14, 0.28, 0.40, 0.51, 0.74. Yes, that last number means the Flash would have tallied 60