I know it’s WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too early in his young career to even be having this conversation, but being a Blue Jackets fan (pre-Jets relocation of course), I’m a little gun-shy with star prospects because I got a front row seat to witness the train wreck that was Nikita Filatov. Now I’m not comparing Bogosian to Filatov, and heck I’m not even saying Filatov is a guaranteed bust (although getting a 3rd round pick for him means he was for Columbus); it’s just that it’s the middle of summer and I’m seriously lacking in the material department. So without further ado, is Zach Bogosian going to be a….
Here is what The Hockey News had to say about him:
ASSETS: Has great mobility. Owns a huge shot from the point and sound offensive ability. Is very aggressive and capable of shutting down opposing forwards.
FLAWS: Needs to pick his spots better when going for the big hit. Is still a little raw in terms of his defensive-zone coverage, as well as his offensive game.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Potential all-around star defenseman.
That all sounds pretty good. Even the flaws are all things you would expect to hear about a young defenseman in the NHL; things that can be tought and improved upon. That’s not what scares me about him.
Innuendo alert: It’s been said about Zach Bogosian that he is not the sharpest tool in the shed and that he’s not very teachable. Rumours persist that he had some issues with the previous coaching regime in Atlanta and that he wasn’t very good at soaking up the knowledge from teammates either.
Now I have to tread very lightly here because I fully admit I’m just propagating rumours, BUT (and that’s a big but) if there is a hint of truth to them, then I start to get worried really fast. His value is quite high right now. If there is a chance he won’t pan out, it’s a delicate balancing act between not bailing too early and not waiting until his value is totally in the tank.
The fact is, this is not an easy situation for Chevy and it’s the reason I much prefer to play armchair GM as opposed to the real thing. Best case scenario, Bogosian turns out to be the perennial all-star that he was touted to be. Worst case scenario, his development continues to flounder and he ends up as a mediocre 5-6 defenseman with character issues. Either way, Chevy does not want to get this one wrong.
Much like Eric Fehr, I’ve got Bogosian in my keeper draft so I’m really pulling hard for him to succeed (not to mention he’s on the Jets so I’m pulling for him by default). He’s probably the guy I’ll be watching most closely this season. It will be a big one for him!
P.S. My keeper draft has a salary cap, so to Zach Bogosian - you will take a very modest salary and be happy with it.