Toronto Maple Leaf fans are praying that the hockey gods somehow look favorably on the team and allow Connor McDavid to land in Toronto. McDavid is projected to be the first-overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft and is being touted as a generational talent. However, according to the budding superstar, the Leafs already have a similar player on their roster in Tyler Bozak.
In a recent prospect profile for NHL.com, the top-5 2015 prospects were asked a series of questions. One of the questions was “(w)ho is the NHL player your play would most likely be compared to?”
McDavid caught many off guard when he compared his playing style to none other than Toronto Maple Leafs first line centre, Tyler Bozak. McDavid’s answer:
Tyler Bozak, because he is a good skater and is more of a pass-first type of guy
There you have it folks. The Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotees, have been throwing away their entire season in hopes of acquiring Bozak No.2. Why don’t they just trade their first overall pick to the Maple Leafs for Bozak today and end the misery?
McDavid is a top prospect with great hands, speed, off the charts hockey IQ who is being compared to Sidney Crosby. Bozak is an undrafted glorified number two centre on a Leafs roster that happened to find chemistry with Phil Kessel.
In Bozak’s six years in the NHL he has never scored more than 20 goals and his highest point total in a single season was 47. McDavid has been lighting up the Ontario Hockey League all season and is scoring at a rate better than Sidney Crosby scored during his final year. With 120 points in just 47 games while leading Canada back to the gold medal at the World Juniors, McDavid has had quite the final year in junior.
I think what Connor McDavid meant to say was "I'm going to top Bozak's career high in points. In my rookie year. By February, probably."
— Jeff Veillette (@Jeffler) March 28, 2015
His 44 goals have him 3rd in OHL scoring, despite playing in 21 fewer games than the scoring leader Dylan Strome. McDavid scored at an amazing pace of 2.55 points a game and played most of the year as a 17-year-old. His final year puts him as one of the best junior players since Crosby. Some even go as far to say he’s having a better year than Crosby’s final junior campaign.
McDavid is the type of player who can completely take control of the game; He can slow down play and manipulate the situation to work out in his favor. When opponents think they have him boxed in, he can easily find away out of coverage or find an open man.
Bozak has served as a solid fill in for the Leafs first line centre woes over the last couple of seasons. He’s found chemistry with Kessel and aside from this year, hasn’t looked horrible on the ice. His game is not perfect, and neither is McDavid’s as both need a little extra effort in their own zone. Bozak is a pass-first kind of player as is McDavid, but one of them is able to take complete control while the puck on his stick.
As McDavid is gearing up for the draft in June and hoping to have his name called as the first overall pick ahead of Jack Eichel, he faces the task of leading his OHL Erie Otters to the Memorial Cup and claiming the most prized trophy in junior hockey. Bozak, may be playing his last few games with the Maple Leafs as his name continues to swirl in rumors and Nazem Kadri seems more and more ready to step into a bigger role with the Leafs.
From a scouting level, the two players could not be further apart in their play. They might possess some similar skills or the same playing style, but McDavid leaves Bozak miles behind. McDavid is a true generational talent with indescribable talent that few players possess in today’s game.
The Leafs are rebuilding and could certainly use a talent such as McDavid. With McDavid and Bozak playing similar styles according to the future star, imagine the two of them on a line together. Kessel would have no trouble scoring goals with two playmakers on his line.
Perhaps McDavid was trying to play humble or maybe he’s just a big Leafs fan. However, the only thing Bozak and Connor McDavid have in common is that one day soon he will be a first line centre in the NHL.