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Tyler Bozak (born March 19, 1986) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre currently playing for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League (NHL). Bozak has also previously played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to being signed by the Maple Leafs as a free agent, Bozak had played two seasons at the University of Denver in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In 2018, after nine seasons with the Maple Leafs, Bozak signed with the Blues in free agency. During his first season with the Blues, Bozak won the Stanley Cup, defeating the Boston Bruins in 2019.

Tyler Bozak
Tyler Bozak 2017-12-09 1.jpg
Bozak with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2017
Born (1986-03-19) March 19, 1986 (age 33)
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
St. Louis Blues
Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2009–present

Playing careerEdit

AmateurEdit

Bozak started playing in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) for the Victoria Salsa in the 2004–05 season, after unsuccessful training camps at the top tier junior league, the Western Hockey League (WHL) level.[1] He spent three seasons in the BCHL with the Victoria franchise. In his final season, Bozak recorded 128 points (45 goals and 83 assists), and was awarded the Brett Hull Trophy as the BCHL's top scorer.[2]

On December 11, 2006, the University of Denver Pioneers announced that Bozak had signed a letter of intent to play hockey for the school.[3] He joined the Pioneers for the 2007–08 season. During his freshman year with the team, Bozak played in all 41 games and led the team in scoring with 34 points (18 goals and 16 assists).[1] He was second in the country with five shorthanded goals.[4] During the season, Bozak was named the Red Baron Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Rookie of the Week four times and was named the Hockey Commissioner's Association (HCA) Rookie of the Month for December.[4] At the end of the season, Bozak was named to the All-WCHA third team and to the All-WCHA Rookie Team.[4]

Heading into his sophomore season with the Pioneers, Bozak was named to the College Hockey News Preseason All-America Team.[4] On December 12, he tore the meniscus in his left knee in a game against the Minnesota State Mavericks, causing him to miss more than half of the Pioneers' season.[4] After the season, Bozak was named to the All-WCHA Academic Team.[4]

ProfessionalEdit

Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

After his sophomore season, Bozak was a heavily pursued free agent despite never being drafted by an NHL team. On April 3, 2009, he signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.[5] Exact financial details of the contract were not released, but it has been rumoured to be worth close to $4 million per season if all performance bonuses were to be reached.[6] After signing, Bozak did not play for the Leafs during the remainder of the 2008–09 season, instead taking the time to further rehabilitate his injured knee.[7]

 
Bozak beats Martin Brodeur to score against the New Jersey Devils in a game during the 2010–11 season.

Bozak attended the Maple Leafs' training camp prior to the 2009–10 season. He had a strong training camp, though due to salary cap constraints, he was sent down to the Leafs' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. Then-Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson admitted that Bozak indeed had a strong camp, stating, "He'll probably have to go down because of numbers. Based on the way he played in training camp, he's certainly worthy of playing in the NHL, but we may not have room at the beginning."[8] Bozak was eventually recalled on October 13, 2009,[9] and made his NHL debut the same night against the Colorado Avalanche. During the game, he recorded his first NHL point, an assist on a goal scored by defenceman François Beauchemin.[10] After playing one game for Toronto, Bozak was returned to the Marlies on October 15.[9] Later in the season, on January 12, 2010, he was again called by the Maple Leafs,[9] where two days later, on January 14, he scored his first career NHL goal in a 4–0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.[11] Bozak had his first career two-goal game on January 1, 2011, against the Ottawa Senators as part of a 5–1 win. In the following off-season, on July 5, he then agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with the Maple Leafs. On July 5, 2013, he signed a five-year, $21 million contract extension with Toronto.

On March 28, 2015, towards the conclusion of the 2014–15 season, Bozak scored his first career NHL hat-trick, as well as recording one assist to cap off a four-point performance, contributing to all four Toronto goals.[12] Bozak would finish the season with a career-high 23 goals while tying his career-high of 49 total points. During the season, future superstar Connor McDavid, who was drafted in June 2015, stated that Bozak was his most comparable player due to the centre's good skating and "pass first" mentality.[13]

The 2015 off-season saw the Maple Leafs trade away star winger Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bozak had spent much of his NHL career playing on a line with Kessel, and many fans and media outlets predicted that Bozak's offensive production would decline significantly in his absence, with some even saying Bozak's point totals would resemble bottom line players (Bozak had spent most of his career on Toronto's top line).[14][15] To the surprise of many, Bozak experienced career years following Kessel's departure, scoring at a pace much higher than predicted, and remaining on Toronto's top two lines.[16][17][18] In an ironic turn of events, both Bozak and James van Riemsdyk (who also shared top line duties since joining the team) had more points and better analytics than Kessel at the Christmas break. After the holiday hiatus concluded, Bozak was named one of the NHL's three stars of the week for the period of December 21–28.[19] Bozak had five points in this three-game span, also scoring his second career hat-trick en route in a 7–4 win over the Avalanche on December 21. The following season, 2016–17, Bozak scored a career-high 55 points on a line with van Riemsdyk and rookie Mitch Marner, helping the team make the playoffs for the second time in his career.

St. Louis BluesEdit

After nine seasons with the Maple Leafs, Bozak left the club as a free agent, signing a three-year, $15 million contract with the St. Louis Blues on July 1, 2018. Bozak won a Stanley Cup with the Blues on June 12, 2019.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Bozak's parents are Mitch and Karon,[21] and he has one brother, Justin.[22] He graduated from Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in Regina, Saskatchewan.[4] While in high school, he volunteered for the Raise a Reader program and was on the honour roll all three years.[4] While at the University of Denver, Bozak majored in Business.[4][23]

Bozak is a Ukrainian-Canadian.[nb 1]

Bozak is married to Molly Robinson. The couple were married on July 22, 2017, and have two children together.[25]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Regina Pat Canadians SHA 42 17 19 36 40
2004–05 Victoria Salsa BCHL 55 15 16 31 24
2005–06 Victoria Salsa BCHL 56 31 38 69 26
2006–07 Victoria Grizzlies BCHL 59 45 83 128 45
2007–08 University of Denver WCHA 41 18 16 34 22
2008–09 University of Denver WCHA 19 8 15 23 10
2009–10 Toronto Marlies AHL 32 4 16 20 6
2009–10 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 37 8 19 27 6
2010–11 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 15 17 32 14
2011–12 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 73 18 29 47 22
2012–13 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 46 12 16 28 6 5 1 1 2 4
2013–14 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 58 19 30 49 14
2014–15 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 23 26 49 44
2015–16 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 57 12 23 35 18
2016–17 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 18 37 55 30 6 2 2 4 4
2017–18 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 81 11 32 43 28 7 2 2 4 6
2018–19 St. Louis Blues NHL 72 13 25 38 20 26 5 8 13 8
NHL totals 666 149 254 403 202 44 10 13 23 22

AwardsEdit

JuniorEdit

Award Date
Brett Hull Trophy as BCHL Top Scorer 2006–07 season[2]

NCAAEdit

Award Date
Red Baron WCHA Rookie of the Week November 6, 2007[4]
December 18, 2007[4]
January 2, 2008[4]
February 12, 2008[4]
HCA Rookie of the Month December 2007[4]
All-WCHA Third Team 2007–08[4]
All-WCHA Rookie Team 2007–08[4]
All-WCHA Academic Team 2008–09[4]

NHLEdit

Award Date
Stanley Cup (St. Louis Blues) June 12, 2019

NotesEdit

  1. ^ In an interview with The Score, Bozak said his favourite food was perogies, and when asked, stated that he is Ukrainian (and jokingly agreed to have his birthplace set to Ukraine in his biography).[24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Tyler Bozak". HockeyDB.com. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Brett Hull Trophy". British Columbia Hockey League. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  3. ^ "DU Hockey Signs Two Student Athletes". Western Collegiate Hockey Association. December 11, 2006. Retrieved January 24, 2010.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Tyler Bozak". University of Denver. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  5. ^ "Bozak decides to sign on with Leafs". Rogers SportsNet. April 3, 2009. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  6. ^ "Victoria's $4-Million Man Heads To Leafs". Victoria Grizzlies. April 4, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  7. ^ "Tyler Bozak joins Maple Leafs, looks forward to next season". The Canadian Press. April 4, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  8. ^ McGran, Kevin (September 30, 2009). "Leafs' salary cap crunch clips Bozak". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c "Tyler Bozak". The Sports Network. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  10. ^ "Regina-born Bozak picks up an assist in NHL debut". The Leader Post. October 14, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2010.[dead link]
  11. ^ "Tyler Bozak scores first NHL goal, Maple Leafs beat Philadelphia 4–0". National Hockey League. January 14, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
  12. ^ Brophy, Mike (March 28, 2015). "Senators caught by Maple Leafs, lose in overtime". NHL. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  13. ^ Cuthbert, Justin (March 28, 2015). "Connor McDavid compares game to Tyler Bozak's in self-evaluation". theScore. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  14. ^ Willis, Jonathan (September 9, 2015). "Five players who won't score as often in 2015-16". Sportsnet. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  15. ^ Burtch, Stephen (September 12, 2015). "Projecting how Bozak and van Riemsdyk will do without Kessel". Sportsnet. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  16. ^ Cullun, Scott (December 22, 2015). "Statistically Speaking: Toronto's surprising scorers". TSN. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  17. ^ Siegel, Jonas (November 24, 2015). "Bozak finding success without longtime running mates". TSN. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  18. ^ Matisz, John (December 23, 2015). "Numbers prove Bozak's doing just fine without Kessel". Toronto Sun. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  19. ^ NHL Staff (December 28, 2015). "Gaudreau, Niemi, Bozak named NHL's Three Stars". NHL. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
  20. ^ "Blues sign Bozak to three-year deal". St. Louis Blues. July 1, 2018. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
  21. ^ Chris Lomon (March 26, 2013). "A True Team Effort". NHLPA.
  22. ^ Andrew Matte Bridges (September 5, 2012). "Boys of winter enjoy the summer". Saskatoon Star Phoenix.
  23. ^ "Leafs' Bozak buzzing ahead of Carolina clash | Sports | Toronto Sun". m.torontosun.com. November 20, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  24. ^ "The Score interview". Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  25. ^ "Tyler Bozak, baby son share adorable warmup moment". NHL.com. November 11, 2016.

External linksEdit