When NHL prospects enter the draft, they are typically asked to evaluate themselves.
“Who is the NHL player your play would most likely be compared to?” Connor McDavid was asked.
"Tyler Bozak,” McDavid says. “Because he is a good skater and is more of a pass-first type of guy."
With McDavid slated as the top prospect heading into this year’s NHL Entry Draft, Bozak took well to the praise.
“That’s awesome, that’s really nice of him, obviously,” he said. “It’s just great to compare himself to me, obviously I watch him play and he’s just so dynamic and everything he does out there is unbelievable. He’s a fun player to watch so that’s obviously an honour for him to say that about me and awesome that he sees some things in my game that he likes.”
With the Leafs season winding down, many eyes are on the future and getting prepared for the draft. The NHL’s draft lottery is set for April 18th, at which point we will know exactly where the Maple Leafs will select in the draft.
Bozak is coming off his best game of the season, recording his first career hat trick and first career four point night.
He was involved in every goal, much like McDavid has been involved with most goals he has played in with the Erie Otters.
“It seems like every time that team had scored a goal, it’s starting with him or ending with him,” Bozak said of McDavid. “He creates a tonne of opportunities every time he’s on the ice. He’s fast and I know he’s going to be an unbelievable player in this league so I’m excited to see what he can do.”
It’s not hard to see where there some of the similarities lie.
Despite some struggles this season Bozak is coming off a career year in goals with 22. Last season, Bozak had a career high 0.845 points per game.
Still, it’s a sincere form of flattery for a player who is looking for some positivity as he finishes up the season.
Nazem Kadri still is undecided about volunteering his services for the upcoming World Hockey Championships. Much of the reason has to do with Kadri being a restricted free agent wanting to secure his future.
Kadri took part in the last year’s World Hockey Championships, a team that failed to reach the medal round.
Peter Holland skated before practice began and will continue to sit out at least the next two games with a lower-body injury.
“He’s definitely close to practicing,” said Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek about Holland’s status. “We’re hopeful for the next full practice we will have him.”