The Toronto Maple Leafs won the Tyler Bozak sweepstakes on Friday, signing the NCAA centre to a two-year entry level contract that could be worth almost $4 million per season if he achieves all bonuses.The 23-year old Regina, Saskatchewan native, who scored eight goals with 15 assists in 19 games with the University of Denver Pioneers, will not play for the Leafs this season.
"We are absolutely thrilled that Tyler has chosen to sign with the Maple Leafs," Leafs GM Brian Burke said in a statement. "He is a young man that was coveted by a large number of teams in our league and it's our goal to help him reach his potential with our organization.
"He's a responsible player at both ends of the ice and he has shown the ability to put points on the board with his quickness at the collegiate level."
Many believe he has the potential to step right into the National Hockey League next season without any minor league seasoning.
Over 20 teams, including all six Canadian teams had reportedly expressed interest in Bozak.
Bozak had a chance to leave school last spring, but he didn't feel he was strong enough to make the leap. He's described by many in hockey circles as a strong two-way centre that possesses good speed and is a key face-off man on both the power-play and penalty kill.