There are going to be big shoes to fill in Vancouver next season as the Sedins won’t be playing for the Canucks for the first time since 2000. Could Tyler Bozak fill the void? Uh, maybe?
According to Rick Dhaliwal, Bozak is a player the Canucks could have interest in come July 1:
Tyler Bozak is a player I have been told the #Canucks could have interest in if he is available on July 1st.— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) April 2, 2018
Bozak has played his entire career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was an undrafted college free agent who signed an NHL deal back in 2009. He’s played nine seasons with the Leafs and has produced 136 goals and 364 points. He’s familiar with British Columbia as he played his junior hockey with the Victoria Salsa of the BCHL prior to attending the University of Denver.
It seems very unlikely that Bozak will be back in Toronto next season. The Leafs are going to have to sign Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander to new deals over the next couple off-seasons and there won’t be room in their cap spreadsheet for the 32-year-old Bozak.
The team is going to have quite a bit of cap room to work with due to the Sedins retiring. After giving Sam Gagner a three-year deal last summer, do the Canucks really need to go out and sign another, well, older version of Sam Gagner?
Bozak has had a strong season with the Leafs in a nice and sheltered offensive role. He has 11 goals and 42 points in 78 games and a +4.0 relative Corsi For percentage, but, like I said, he’s sheltered behind a very strong offensive lineup. Bozak could more than likely be a solid depth producer for the next few years, but it seems more likely he’s going to be one of summer 2018’s overpayments.