Toronto Maple Leafs: 10 Storylines Heading Into the Draft and Offseason

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5. Potential Suitors For Tyler Bozak

Feb 26, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel (right) celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner (51) and forward Tyler Bozak (42) and defenceman Morgan Rielly (44) during the first period at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

So far the Leafs core involves the following players: Phaneuf, Kessel, Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly, James van Riemsdyk, Jake Gardiner as the main group. For years there has been debate of whether Tyler Bozak should be among that group, because he has occupied the team’s number one centre position. Then you look at the top teams, and trying to compare Bozak to the best centremen in the league is a comparison that cannot be made. He does not possess the elite talent of a Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Claude Giroux, and many more.

Apr 8, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak (42) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Jackets won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest asset he has is a reasonable $4.2 million cap hit for the next three years. As a number two centreman, that is a reasonable cap hit, especially considering most number two centremen receive around $5.5 million per year – like a Valtteri Filppula, Derrick Brassard, Mike Richards, Tomas Plekanec. If I am the Leafs, I look for a team that needs a number two centreman at a reasonable cap hit. It is unlikely the Leafs will get a first rounder for Bozak alone, but they could use him in a package deal to get one. With the Leafs going with younger players, it is best for them to get something for Bozak now, while his value remains high. He had 23 goals- 26 assists for 49 points in 82 games. A team like the Rangers, the Arizona Coyotes, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Nashville Predators are some teams that could be a good fit for Bozak.