Tyler Bozak was called up to the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 12, 2010 from the AHL Toronto Marlies. After the Phaneuf trade on January 31st, room opened up on the top line for Bozak to play with Phil Kessel.
Although Bozak only has 37 NHL games in his dosier for 2010. It is extremely interesting to look at his 2010 statistics when compared to some other great NHL centres to get an idea where Bozak may be headed.
Let us compare Bozak's offensive output against Pavel Datsyuk, Marc Savard and Jonathan Toews. Bozak led all 3 with the highest shooting percentage of 15.7%; that is 12th best among all centres in the NHL. Where Bozak fell short was his 1.38 shots per game compared to Datsyuk's 2.54, Toews 2.66 and Savard's 2.20 shots per game. Clearly, it would appear that Bozak needs to shoot more.
However, look at Bozak's goals per game of .22 which ranks 23rd amongst centres and we get a projection over 82 games of just 18 goals. That's on par with Marc Savard at .24 goals per game projected over 82 games at 20 goals. Both Datsyuk and Toews carry a projection of 27 goals over the full regular season. What is interesting is that if Bozak carries a more typical 2 shots per game average, he should easily carry a 22-25 goal season, much closer to Datsyuk and Toews.
All 4 centres range in the projected 41 to 47 assists over an 82 game season. Paired with a fit and healthy Phil Kessel, it should not be hard for Bozak to hit the mid 40's in assists.
If Bozak plays the same as last year, he still projects to have an 18 goal, 41 assist, 59 point season. With just 6 more goals and a couple more assists, Bozak is in the same offensive group as Datsyuk and Toews while surpassing Savard. Not a bad group to be in and not at all an unrealistic challenge for Bozak to accomplish given Bozak will likely play on the number one line with Phil Kessel and the number one power play unit...
By the Numbers, point projection for Tyler Bozak:
22 goals, 45 assists, 67 points
+4 goal, +4 assist pace over last season