So, another Toronto Maple Leafs season is over and now we can get to speculating what next year’s roster is going to look like.
The last few years, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not Tyler Bozak should be part of the Leafs future, or should be traded. Personally, I think the Leafs should hold on to him.
For one thing, he is the Leafs’ best and most relied upon face-off man. Of the Leafs’ centres, Bozak had the highest face-off win percentage, in the regular season this year, at 56.7 per cent. In the playoffs, his face-off win percentage was 52.8 per cent. To put that in perspective, his regular season face-off win percentage was higher than players such as Claude Giroux, Mikko Koivu and Jonathan Toews. He took the most draws for the Leafs in the playoffs, at 127, as well as in the regular season, at 1,366 Obviously, he has earned the trust of the team’s coaching staff.
In addition, Bozak seems to have found chemistry on a line with Mitch Marner and James van Riemsdyk. When you have a young team, you don’t want to upset chemistry that is growing.
Bozak also had a career year this year, in the points department, scoring 18 goals and putting up 55 points.
Lastly; let me just say in my mind he deserves to be part of the solution in Toronto. Bozak has spent eight seasons with this Leafs franchise, and over that time he has seen the lows the franchise can hit; such as the lost playoff series against Boston in 2013, and the times, one year, when Leaf fans threw jerseys on the ice. The fact that he has been through all those hard times and still at least seems to want to stay, is something remarkable. I think the Leafs’ management should reward him for his loyalty, by letting him stay with the franchise.
Personally, I think the Leafs would be foolish to move someone like Bozak now, with the team trending upwards.
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Is a reporter for The Standard Newspaper, so if you see him, feel free to say hello. You can follow Dan on Twitter at @dancearnsy