Step 7: Sign Tyler Bozak to be the 3rd Line Center
The New York Islanders bottom six has struggled immensely this year with scoring. The Islanders current bottom six of Ladd – Nelson – Fritz and Wagner – Cizikas – Clutterbuck has combined for a total of 99 points. The top two lines have combined for 324 points just to bring that into perspective.
Bozak would add a solid producer on the Islanders third line, something they have really missed ever since the departure of Frans Nielsen.
At age 31 Bozak has been a key veteran to the Maple Leafs team. With Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner due a big raise in the next couple of years and with the limited cap space it will be difficult for the Leafs to retain a depth player like Bozak to be the third line center.
This year, Bozak has 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) while also sporting a 52.5 CF%.
Bozak is also a very good power play player. He has 24 power play goals in the last four years which would be a very appealing asset to the Islanders second power play unit.
In addition to scoring Bozak is also a very valuable faceoff man. He’s won 53.1 percent of his faceoffs this year and 53.5 percent over the course of his career. John Tavares has the highest FO% of an Islanders center with 52.8 percent so clearly, this part of Bozak’s game could benefit the Islanders.
The question becomes what kind of deal would Bozak get? I would be comfortable giving Bozak a three year $14.25 million contract ($4.75 million AAV).
The Islanders would have him under contract from age 32 through age 34 which should be fine. Bozak hasn’t shown signs of slowing down just yet and that contract isn’t one that would come back to bite if a buyout was necessary after two years (looking at you Andrew Ladd).
This kind of veteran presence might be nice on a line with a couple of youngins. We’ll get to them next: