Tyler Bozak might have weak advanced statistics, and get a bad rap around here (which mostly seems to stem from the fact that he wasn't draftedand has been chained to Kessel since his arrival) he is not a bad player. I firmly believe a form of Bozak, who is not so firmly entrenched to the 1st line is actually a very valuable utility player to employ on your team. Consider this: -He is perfectly adequate or more than adequate at all of PP/PK/ES --> He is learning how to produce on the PP, as evidenced by him leading the PP in scoring thus far (would be good addition on a 2nd PP Unit) -He is great at shootouts. Actually he isn't just great.. He's the best! Literally! His 11 for 19 scoring rate, for 57.9% is the highest shooting percentage with a half-decent sample size. (All the the other options above him have only shot 1-5 times) -He's T17th best faceoff man in the league sitting at a very respectable 55.2% (against top opposition to boot) -At age 28, he sits in the midst of his prime and he has producing as such. Between his current season and last he has played 76 games and produced 25G-64pts which is a pace of 26G-69pts over a full 82 game season. --> He also a been maintained a 0 +/- over this span playing on a line with JVR (combined -11 over last two seasons) and Phil Kessel (combined -4 over last two seasons) -He's only owed 4.2M until the age of 32, ie. when his prime is coming to an end. --> Players sitting in this price range include: Nikolai Kulemin, Brian Gionta, Chris Stewart, Cody Hodgson, Brian Bickell, Drew Stafford, David Jones, Daniel Briere. One could easily argue that Bozak is a superior player to every single player listed here. Are there some better players in this price range? Yes. Patric Hornqvist, T.J. Oshie, and his own winger JVR are better players for the price, but the most part the list of players at that cap hit are exceedingly underwhelming. Analysis: Should he continue playing on our 1st line? No. IMO he is not an ideal top line center on a team looking to be a real contender. This is no slight to Bozak, there just aren't many players who can succeed on all fronts playing such tough minutes. I think we'd see the true value in Bozak playing in an established role on the 2nd or 3rd line. His line would be a scoring line, but also be capable of facing the other's team toughest competition. I liked the idea Randy Carlyle had earlier in the season where he made the Kessel/Kadri/Lupul line an offensively directed line while the JVR/Bozak/Clarkson was expected to take the harder defensive assignments. It just seems like common sense to play to his individual player's strengths. That first trio is absolute dynamite once they cross the oppositions blueline, while the latter trio has a great mix of players who can succeed playing a predominantly transition, two-way game. I think it gives the offense it's best balance and keeps at least two legitimate scoring threats on each of the top two lines. And just as importantly, I though Bozak actually played some of his most thoughtful and noticeable hockey when he was separated from Kessel. While it's obvious that Bozak's numbers are inflated due to the sheer offensive force that Kessel can be, I felt that Bozak was able to really spread his wings and exhibit some of his own individual scoring prowess and puck moving abilities when he wasn't expected to simply dish to Kessel on very occasion. I think if Carlyle really wants to mix up the core of this team he will take advantage of Kadri's newfound defensive focus and faceoff ability and pair him with Kessel for a longer stretch of games. This is Kadri's contract season and it's important to see what we've really got with the guy. Is he destined to be a 2nd line center who simply drives the offense on his own line? Or can he step into that true 1A-1B situation, play alongside the teams top player, win key faceoffs and produce at a respectable clip. This would not only help push Kadri's development, but I think would allow for Bozak to finally step out Kessel's shadows and prove his worth to his many skeptics.