In the offseason, the Winnipeg Jets re-signed young defenseman Zach Bogosian to a seven-year, $36 million contract. We’re only 13 games into that contract, and the Jets might already be regretting it.
Bogosian has started off this season very unproductive on the offensive front. He hasn’t scored a goal and only has three assists. He hasn’t done much to help one of the league’s worst power plays either.
However, Bogosian doesn’t seem to lack any confidence in his abilities. He’s still carrying the puck pretty well in the neutral zone (when he’s not turning it over) and can gain the offensive zone to help set up. He doesn’t lack the confidence, but he’s lacking the performance.
It’s simple—Bogosian has to perform. A defenseman that is making $5 million a season has to be able to produce offensively. However, It’s not just the lack of offense that’s concerning. It’s the defense that has been a burden as well.
Bogosian has been terrible defensively, and that’s the most concerning part of all.
Statistics don’t really tell you just how bad he’s been. During the 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday night, Bogosian was very soft on what would eventually be the game-winning goal. That’s been a problem for Bogosian. He’s built strong, but he often plays soft.
We want to see the Bogosian that clears the crease and plays aggressive, not the Bogosian that stands idle in front of the net leaving players wide open. He has a tendency of doing that.
Bogosian has also been a turnover machine and has made his fair share of plays that make you scratch your head. Earlier in the season, he basically assisted on Corey Perry's game-winning goal by falling down behind his own net and carelessly throwing the puck out in front.
Combine all of these flaws and you get an overpaid defenseman struggling to produce and play defense.
The baffling part is when you look at the bigger picture and see that the Jets just re-signed Bogosian to a seven-year contract. They basically based the entire contract off of the potential Bogosian has even though he hasn’t consistently played to his potential.
Every Jets fan knows what Bogosian’s potential is because we’ve see him play to it a lot last season and even in the season before. However, he has never been consistent. And he’s never done enough to be worth the contract he received.
Thirteen games is a small sample size when looking at the bigger picture, but it has to make general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff wonder if he did the right thing by throwing money and years at Bogosian.
The Jets are a woeful team when it comes to defense, but Bogosian has been a big part of it individually. Maybe the Jets just don’t like the system they’re in? Or maybe Bogosian just needs a change of scenery.
Whatever the case, Bogosian has to turn his game around.
Hopefully in a few weeks we can chalk up Bogosian’s horrendous start to an untimely slump. He has to get better.