A look at Tyler Bozak’s improved 2013-14 Season

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Photo: NHLI via Getty Images

Last week, I looked at a WOWY analysis of Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak, where we saw that Bozak had a much improved season over his previous seasons. I wanted to take a look at Bozak’s individual statistics to see where he improved and by how much.

It is fairly easy to see he had a better season last year by looking at traditional statistics. He had 49 points in 58 games for 0.84 points per game compared to 0.61 and 0.64 his two previous seasons. What is interesting is the improvement is exclusively during 5v5 play, as he had just 8 power play points last year compared to 9 and 12 the previous two seasons.

With that said, let’s take a look at Bozak’s 5v5 point rate (expressed as goals/assists/points per 60 minutes of 5v5 ice time) over the previous four seasons to see how much of an improvement his season last year was over previous years.

YearGoals/60RankAssists/60RankShots/60Rank
2010-110.426270/3370.586294/3254.42325/337
2011-120.678157/3300.961144/3304.58312/330
2012-130.620123/2080.886110/2083.72203/208
2013-140.646163/3461.6795/3463.75341/346

The rank columns are where Bozak ranks among all forwards with at least 500 minutes of 5v5 play during that season; so, for 2010-11 he had a Goals/60 rate of 0.426, which ranked him 270th of 337 forwards with 500+ minutes of ice time during 5v5 play.

As you can see, his goals per 60 has remained pretty consistent over the previous 3 seasons and ranking around the middle of the pack as far as forwards go. What is interesting is that his shots/60 rate is pretty consistently right near the bottom of the league’s forwards; while he isn’t getting many shots, he is getting a fair number of goals from those shots. The reason for this is the majority of his shots and goals are tip-ins or on rebounds. He rarely shoots the puck, relatively speaking, during normal play.

Bozak’s dramatic improvement last season is solely due to his 5v5 assist rate jumping to nearly double his rate from the previous two seasons. This elevated him to 5th in the league in assists per 60 minutes last season. Not shown above is he ranked 9th in the league in first assists per 60 minutes, so it wasn’t just cheap second assists that were padding his totals. He was directly setting up goals.

Of course, Bozak plays on one of the highest scoring lines in the NHL with Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. The more important question is whether he is getting points because of his high scoring wingers or whether he is actually contributing more to the line’s production. To determine that, we can look at Individual Point/Goal/Assist Percentages (IPP, IGP and IAP respectively). To review, Individual Points Percentage is the percentage of the goals that were scored while a player was on the ice that the player had a point on. IGP and IAP is the same but for goals and assists. It should be noted that just as points equals goals plus assists,  IPP equals IGP plus IAP.

Here is how Bozak rates in terms if IPP, IGP and IAP over the past 4 seasons.

YearIPPRankIAPRankIGPRank
2010-1152.8324/33730.6294/33722.2254/337
2011-1259.2276/33034.7231/33024.5217/330
2012-1351.5196/20830.3173/20821.2168/208
2013-1467.9190/34649.162/34618.9297/346

Bozak’s IGP has actually dropped a bit over the past couple seasons and is definitely in the bottom quartile of forwards. Until this past season, Bozak has also been near the bottom of the league in IAP and IPP as well. All this indicates that Bozak has been a relatively small factor in the line’s offensive production. This changed a bit last season, as Bozak jumped closer to middle of the pack in individual points percentage driven by ranking 62nd of 326 forwards in individual assist percentage. Bozak was an important playmaker on his line last season.

In last weeks post, we saw that Kessel performed better with Bozak than without last season and above we see that Bozak was a far more productive playmaker last year than in prior seasons. It is difficult to know from the statistics whether Bozak took a step forward in his development or changed his style of play last season to become a more important member of his line, but he appears to have been. Of course, one season does not make a trend so it will be up to Bozak to show that he is in fact a more productive and integral member of the Leafs top line. A pessimist of course would look at Bozak’s IPP on the power play last season and say nothing has changed. Time will tell.

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For more details on IPP, IGP and IAP and other advanced statistics, please refer to my introduction to advanced statistics post from a couple weeks ago.

 

  • Cali…Leaf

    Loved this and your previous stuff David. Ahhhhh some hockey thoughts in August ……. it was only 110 here today!
    How many days till camp 39 orsomething?

  • Optimustic

    Good article Dave.  Just pointing out a minor typo after the second graph, Bozak’s IPP should read 62nd of 346 instead of 326, to reflect what the graph says.
     I don’t feel that the top line scoring production was a problem at all last season.  If we can vastly improve our d-zone pressure and spend more time in the o-zone, we’ll be much better off, especially if that translates to more production from the bottom 6 9.

  • Optimustic

    Cali…Leaf Camp opens for physicals on Sept. 11.  24 days I think, with the rookie tourney starting on the 13th and preseason games start on the 22, or 35 days.  It won’t be long till we’re counting the hours down.  :-)
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=682123

  • Optimustic

    Cali…Leaf http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/page/calendar2014/2014-15-nhl-calendar   Camps officially open 1 month from today.

  • Zep2

    Take him off the 1st PP KAdri, even Holland are better offensive players

  • 4evrblue

    Zep2  Still don’t get the Holland love. I think he could turn into a decent player but a lot of people seem to think he is already a 2nd line centre and IMO thats just not accurate. He was on a  21pt pace last year and is 23 years old. Naz put up 50pts and people say he’s not a 2nd line centre. Colour me confused lol

  • 4evrblue

    Thanks for the writeup David. If Bozak can keep his numbers up to what he did this year or even elevate them just a little more it would mean a lot to this team.

  • Sic_Transit_Gloria

    Great post David! Looks like bozak put up a hell of a season. Top 6 A-per-60 in the league? Gives some credence to Burke/non is who have been touting how good bozak is/can be for a long time. Hopefully he can build on this, imagine if he even put up better numbers this year? He’d be approaching legit top line centre territory.

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks , and thank you David ! 

    Here is the Thing for me with Bozak. He can play with elite players, some of his passes are elite. He wont produce like that on a second line of the Leafs due to lack of talent to play with. Bozak wont make wingers Better, because the wingers wont be there to accept the good passes. Bozak is compliment only,. but thats all we need with Kes and JVR. A center that can get the puck to his wingers, and Bozak does that

  • Mind Bomb

    4evrblue Zep2 Its is Size for me, He is the biggest Center with some talent we have. That seems to understand defence as well lol