Zach Bogosian a Big Deal in Winnipeg

Matt Eichel
August 15 2011 05:35PM

 

 

 

Not only is Jets defenseman and current RFA excited and ready to play in Winnipeg, Zach Bogosian is also one of the best young defensemen in the NHL today.

Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press likened Bogosian to LA Kings star Drew Doughty and Toronto Maple Leafs Luke Schenn, who are also both in contract negotiations with their teams without any arbitration rights.

However, Lawless points out the main difference being: "The other two blue-liners have already declared with their play what can be expected of them in the future." (Winnipeg Free Press, 8/10/11)

At 6'3", 205 pounds, Bogosian has tremendous upside and talent. Problem is, he hasn't shown it as much as Doughty or Schenn. That may be in part to playing three seasons in Atlanta with two different coaches and possibly not getting his feet under him properly. Looking at Doughty and Schenn, they both have not had coaching changes and have been entrusted with being a go-to defenseman on their respective teams.

In 2010-11, Bogosian ranked third in ice time among Atlanta Thrashers defenceman, collecting five goals and 12 assists in 71 games. And he was a minus 27 on a Thrashers team that was in the playoff race for much of the season.

Either the Jets can sign Bogosian to a one-year deal to see what his worth is as a defenseman and if he can produce Doughty or Schenn-like numbers at 21. Or the Jets can take a chance and sign him to a long-term deal and hope he pans out.

But with the demeanor of Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, a short-term deal will likely be in order for the former third overall pick in 2008. With fellow defensenen such as Doughty picked 2nd overall, Alex Pietrangelo 4th overall, and Luke Schenn 5th overall. He was also followed by Tyler Myers at 12th overall, Michael del Zotto at 20th overall, and John Carlson at 27th overall, Bogosian's stock could garner him a big pay check if he can get his play up to that of his peers.

With Myers, Carlson, del Zotto, and Pietrangelo all in the last years of their entry level contracts could cash in and it could be a good indicator of Bogosian's contract if he signs a one year deal. Then again, Doughty's and Schenn's deal this summer could also indicate how Bogosian's contract could play out this summer if he were to be signed long-term.

Whether or not the contract is signed as of now or not, Bogosian has expressed excitement over playing in the Manitoban capital.

On playing in Winnipeg, Bogosian told the Winnipeg Sun's Kirk Penton, “Sometimes (it was tough in Atlanta), especially when you played against teams like Toronto or Pittsburgh,”

“They had more fans in the stands than we did. It was tough, but you have to know it’s your job to go out there and give it your best." he added.

“Any time you get a crowd behind you it helps you out so much. When you come out and the place is packed it’s like having an extra player out there. It gives you that much more momentum and enthusiasm to play.”

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Matt Eichel writes the Jets All Out Blog. A resident of Winnipeg, Matt stays on top of the latest Jets news and updates. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattyallout
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#1 RexLibris
August 16 2011, 05:21PM
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For the record, I like Bogosian and would love to have him as a prospect on my team (Oilers), but I think when he is compared to Doughty and Schenn at this point it is more because of contractual similarities than talent or level-of-play comparables. Bogosian might achieve the level of play to be mentioned alongside Schenn or Doughty, but even those two players aren't really comparable. Schenn is becoming a dependable defensive player with some good puck-moving and play-making identifying skills. Doughty is developing more along the lines of a Rob Blake, that is an offensive producer who isn't a defensive liability. Bogosian doesn't appear, as yet, to headed in either specific direction but has the potential, at this point, to become one or the other.

The most likely development for Bogosian I see, career-wise, is that he becomes a hard-hitting, offensively-minded, defender who works best when someone is standing behind him to cover his bets. Perhaps a Phaneuf comparison would be closer, I'm not sure. At this point in his development I'd say that the most important factor is coaching, and in that regard he is in excellent hands with Charlie Huddy.

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#2 MC Hockey
August 17 2011, 07:17PM
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Hi Matt, Nice simple article. I really like Bogosian too and my chiropractor cannot stop talking about him. But let's face it, despite being on a weak-ish but improving team (for the most part) in Atlanta, he average 20 points a season and -11 if you look at simple statistics only and until NHL GMs all consider things like corsi statistics, goal differential, etc then this paints Bogosian as perhaps a $2M/year guy. His previous entry-level contract was artificially inflated by signing bonuses given to top draft choices but he's not Doughty or even Schenn yet. P.S. As ex-Winnipegger who left the Winnipeg shortly after the nasty Jets-Winnipeg divorce I am super-pleased to see the Peg get their a well-deserved NHL team.

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