Johnny Boychuk
Johnny Boychuk
35-Year-Old DefensemanD
New York Islanders
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Now 35, Boychuk is in the twilight of his career. He did score three goals and 19 points last season despite playing fewer than 20 minutes per game for the first time since 2009-10, but the drastic cut in playing time should be a concern for owners. The 1.9 shooting percentage he posted last year should be as well. Boychuk averaged just 40 seconds on the power play per contest in 2018-19, which was the driving force behind his reduction in playing time. He hasn't been a lethal producer on the man advantage since 2014-15 anyway, but still, owners want their offensively-minded defensemen manning the point on the power play. Boychuk is no longer that guy with the Islanders. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a seven-year, $42 million extension with the Islanders in March 2015.
Strikes on power play
DNew York Islanders
October 11, 2019
Boychuk scored a power-play goal on three shots and added three blocked shots in Friday's 5-2 loss to the Hurricanes.
Entering the lineup for Nick Leddy (undisclosed), Boychuk was able to make an impact with an equalizing goal in the second period. That would be all the Islanders could put behind Petr Mrazek, however. Boychuk's goal was his first point of the year to go with eight hits and six blocked shots in three appearances. He'll likely cycle out of the lineup when Leddy is able to go again.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Turning 35 years old in January, Boychuk's best days appear to be behind him. Last season, he scored six goals along with 18 points -- his fewest in an 82-game season since 2011-12 -- and the defenseman posted a career-low minus-8 rating. On top of that, Boychuk can't stay healthy. He has missed at least 10 games each of the last four seasons and sat out 24 in 2017-18. In an ideal world, coach Barry Trotz would reduce the veteran's minutes in the upcoming season, but the viability of that will depend on how quickly the team's young blueliners mature. Perhaps the best-case scenario for Boychuk would be to average fewer than 20 minutes per game and post 10 goals with 25 points. However, it's more likely he's asked to take on too much responsibility, which could threaten his plus-minus figure, and that he suffers another injury, leading to more missed games.
After enjoying a career year with 35 points in 2014-15, Boychuk's been unable to build on that performance over the past two seasons, as he’s seen his point totals regress to the mid-20s. Now 33 years old, it’s not likely that he’s got another gear to find, but fantasy owners in formats that count hits and blocks will be pleased as usual with his ever-reliable totals in those categories as well as his solid plus-minus and occasional offensive contributions. They may not be pleased, however, with the veteran blueliner's propensity to get banged up -- Boychuk has never played 80 games in a season, and last year saw him play in just 66 (his lowest total since his rookie year) thanks to a late-season lower-body ailment. It doesn't get any easier to avoid injury as you hit your mid-30s, so it’s hard to have great expectations for Boychuk in the fantasy realm.
After a career year in his first season with the Islanders, Boychuk regressed by 10 points but matched a career high with nine goals in 2015-16. A Stanley Cup winner with the Bruins in 2011, Johnny B. owns a heavy right-handed shot which has proven to be a valuable asset in the borough of Brooklyn, as the defenseman has contributed almost half (18) of his career total (37) goals the past two seasons with the Islanders. In the non-fantasy world of hockey, however, points by a defensemen are merely icing on the proverbial cake. The 6-foot-2 rearguard has a penchant for using his massive frame to initiate contact and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line to block shots, so go ahead and hone in on him as arguably the most valuable fantasy defender on the Isles, up there with the more offensive-minded Nick Leddy.
A shocking acquistion just before the start of last season, Boychuk provided a veteran presence on an Islanders blue line that sorely needed one. His winning pedigree in Boston gave him added gravitas on a team that had seen decades of leaky defensive play since their four Stanley Cups in the 1980s. In addition to shoring up the Isles' play at the back end, Boychuk had by far his best offensive season last year, scoring nine goals and adding 26 assists. At 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Boychuk is able to provide physicality while not going over the line, as he only committed 14 penalty minutes last season. And after re-upping with the Islanders on a huge contract extension in March, Boychuk absolutely lived up to his billing as a shutdown rearguard in the playoffs, where he routinely stymied Alexander Ovechkin in the team's seven-game series loss to the Capitals. With the new contract in tow, Boychuk has come into his own as a top-pair defenseman in the NHL and a valuable roster piece in moderate-sized or deeper fantasy leagues.
While the sturdy Boychuk is not a major fantasy factor, he does possess a booming shot, which helped him record five goals and 23 points in 75 games for the Bruins this past season. At times, you’d think more of his shots would hit the back of the net, but the truth is, it’s Boychuck’s hard-hitting physicality that makes him a valuable top-four cog on the Boston blue line. Now in the final year of his current deal with the team, Boychuk – who carries a cap hit of $3,366,667 this season – figures to be tough to resign unless he’s amenable to a hometown discount. That said, unless the Bruins decide to move his salary in order to create cap room, he’ll continue to provide the team with a reliable and rugged defensive presence.
After scoring just one goal and six points in 44 regular season games, Boychuk really picked up the pace in the playoffs, racking up six goals and seven points in 22 games. Though the hard-hitting Boychuk is not likely to emerge as a major fantasy option next season, he does possess a dangerous shot and with a few more bounces in his favor - something he enjoyed this past postseason - he could wind up helping those in deeper formats in 2013-14. In any case, he’ll continue to provide the Bruins with a reliable and rugged blue-line presence, with any offense he chips in essentially a bonus.
With just five goals and 15 points in 77 games this past season to go along with 53 PIMs, Boychuck wasn’t much of a fantasy factor, but he was solid in the transition game for the B’s, recording a plus-27 rating. Though he’s only found the back of the net 13 times in 203 career NHL games, Boychuck does bring a cannon of a shot to the table and he’s not afraid to block the shots of his opponents, racking up 133 blocks last season
In some ways Boychuck regressed last season, though it's hard to get too down on a regular player on a Stanley Cup winning team. In 69 games, he recorded a line of 3-13-16, with a plus-15 rating. That's one point more than he racked up in his rookie year, but it took him 18 additional games to get there. One area where Boychuk more than held his own, though, was with his physical play. He hits hard and often and his shot from the point is a rocket. Boychuk is entering the final year of his contract with the B's and it's not hard to imagine him being more consistent and productive in 2011-12, especially if some of his blasts from the point are better placed. For now, he's a low-end fantasy blueliner, but that could change if injuries give him some extended power play time.
Boychuk went from a virtual unknown last season to an offseason priority for the Bruins, signing a two-year extension worth approximately $3.75 million this spring. Boychuk started last season as the team's No. 7 blueliner, but when given an opportunity, he proved he belonged in the NHL, ending up on the B's top defensive pairing with Zdeno Chara and racking up heavy minutes, especially late in the season and the playoffs. Heading into 2010-11, he could see a bump up from his 2009-10 production (15 points in 51 games) if he ends up seeing extensive power play duty, which is certainly a possibility.
Boychuck, who was named the AHL's best defenseman last season with 20 goals and 45 assists in 78 games for Providence, will likely stick as the B's sixth or seventh blueliner. At worst, he'll be the first blueline call-up if he doesn't break camp with the big club.
Boychuk played in four games with the Avalanche last season, spending the rest of his time in the AHL, recording eight goals and 16 points for Lake Erie. An organizational depth guy, he should spend the majority of the 2008-09 season in the minors
Boychuk has a nasty streak and is the kind of defenseman the Avs could use, but is just not ready for the NHL. He was assigned to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League in Sept. 2007.
Boychuk spent 2005-06 with Lowell of the AHL. He scored 32 points (six goals, 26 assists) in 74 games, and also recorded 73 penalty minutes. The 22-year-old has a chance to make Colorado's NHL roster this season, and is someone to consider late in keeper league drafts.
More Fantasy News
Playing time could dwindle
DNew York Islanders
October 7, 2019
Boychuk could lose ice time as Noah Dobson continues to develop and grow at the NHL level, Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports.
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Healthy to open camp
DNew York Islanders
September 14, 2019
Boychuk (foot) feels completely healthy going into camp, Andrew Gross of Newsday reports.
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Hampered by broken foot
DNew York Islanders
May 6, 2019
Boychuk clarified that it was a broken foot that kept him out of the lineup during the second round, Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reports.
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Making progress in recovery
DNew York Islanders
April 26, 2019
Head coach Barry Trotz said Friday that Boychuk (leg) is making progress and has a "slim chance" to play in New York's second-round series against Carolina, Brian Compton of reports.
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Out at least three weeks
DNew York Islanders
April 19, 2019
Boychuck (leg) will miss 3-to-4 weeks, Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports.
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