It sounds as though the Leafs tried to turn Tyler Bozak into a few picks at the draft and found the interest tepid, at best.

According to Elliotte Friedman:

Toronto looked at grabbing some draft picks for Tyler Bozak, but obviously didn’t.

It terrifies me to write this, because if it changes I look like a doofus, but word after the draft was there’s a decent chance he starts next season with the Maple Leafs. That wasn’t likely at the end of the year.

We don’t know the strength of those picks the Leafs were asking for in return, but it does seem safe to assume other GMs around the league are viewing Bozak as a depth center who has been given minutes and situational opportunities he wouldn’t come close to touching on a good team with actual centre depth to speak of. It’s hard to argue something to the contrary if you’re Leafs management.

Still, interest could grow in the next few weeks. Suitors may come knocking after they pick over the depth centers available in free agency, the ones that will not cost a rival GM assets in a trade.

The Leafs could also wait for a while, possibly as late as the deadline, and hope to deal him to a team in need of a depth centre for the stretch run. Bozak’s value, like a number of Leafs‘, is lower than it was half way through the season due to the cliff dive the team performed after the New Year.

In the span between January 2nd and March 26, when the Leafs won just five of 37 games (still astonishing), Bozak had just 10 points (.27 PPG).

Bozak started last season with 32 points in the 2014 portion of the calendar (38 games; .84 PPG).

There was interest in both Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, although the Leafs continue to insist they will not retain salary in deals for either player, which discouraged some suitors. Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul didn’t generate a ton of attention.

– James Mirtle

Lupul’s production would tell a roughly similar tale to Bozak’s. There is clamouring for the Leafs to make a string of trades of significance, but this team has thrived on October-November-December hockey in the past, and it appears Shanahan and company will be banking on the Babcock effect instilling some passion and hunger in the group early in the year. Thus far, Shanahan has been patient in refusing to sell too low on his assets despite the rampant calls for sweeping change.

The playoffs might not be the expectation next season, but restoring player valuations will be.

If there is no deal, we don’t feel there is necessarily a drop dead date for us. We’ve got a great coach that has the ability to make players better.

– Brendan Shanahan


Full draft coverage:


Monday Links:

  • Elliotte Friedman: 30 Thoughts: Canucks’ Bieksa deserves better (Sportsnet)
    No one will comment on how close it was (or still may be), but Kessel to Pittsburgh had serious traction. Toronto was willing to ease the Penguins’ contract burden. But there was no consensus on the reward.
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  • James Mirtle: Maple Leafs looking at taking on bad deals, big contracts to improve (The Globe and Mail)
    One veteran whose name is out there, however, is defenceman Roman Polak, who has one year remaining on a deal with a $2.75-million cap hit. After adding Marincin and re-signing Tim Erixon, T.J. Brennan and Petter Granberg, the Leafs have a lot of young defencemen to find minutes for, and Polak will be easy to move.
    I
  • Jonas Siegel: Leafs go big on skill at draft (TSN)
    We definitely have to improve the skill level of our group,” Babcock said. Whether Toronto’s picks flourish or not will be judged in the long-term, but the Leafs are, at the very least, swinging for an element the organization has long lacked.
    I
  • Kevin McGran: Maple Leafs fan fest to be free this year, shorter lineups promised (Toronto Star)
    The Maple Leafs are changing the format for their annual September fan fest, an event greeted with some excitement last year, but one that also left some feeling disappointed due to cost and long lines.