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  • Zach Bogosian Has Been More Than Advertised

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports
    Luke Sims


    With Jared Spurgeon on injured reserve and the defense struggling, Bill Guerin moved to acquire a defenseman. A defenseman with a little more grit. An affordable defenseman who could fill in for the loss left by Spurgeon’s play on and off the ice. 

    That defenseman: Zach Bogosian


    In separate but related deals, the Minnesota Wild sent the Tampa Bay Lightning a seventh-round pick for Bogosian. Then the Wild sent Calen Addison to the San Jose Sharks in a corresponding move. 

    So the Wild swapped a young puck-moving defenseman for a grittier, hard-nosed veteran blueliner who offered nothing offensively. In a day and age where the game is getting younger and faster, Minnesota got older and a lot slower in one fell swoop. 

    Bogosian's outlook could have been better. 


    Bogosian had taken a lot of penalties while providing nothing offensively. Bogosian has 0.9 penalty minutes per game in his career while mustering only 0.26 points per game. The third-overall pick in the 2008 draft has 511 more penalty minutes than points over his 15-year career. 

    The Wild eased Bogoasian into the lineup with mixed results. The grizzled defenseman was playing in a third-pairing role and adding minutes on the penalty kill. But Jonas Brodin's injury forced Bogosian into a bigger role. 

    Few Wild fans wanted Bogosian in a top-four role, and that's probably not what the coaching staff or management would have wanted when they traded for him. But they leaned on Bogosian's experience with their two top defensemen out. 

    I assumed that Bogosian would be a disaster in a top-four role. But he has subverted my expectations (along with many other Wild fans) by rising to the occasion and providing Minnesota with steady minutes in the top four and valuable minutes on the penalty kill. 

    The former Atlanta Thrasher is fourth among the Wild defenseman in minutes played since arriving from Tampa. Bogosian has spent the most time paired up with another veteran, Alex Goligoski. Bogo and Goose have played 121:38 together, while Bogosian has also spent two games with Jon Merrill and another two with Dakota Mermis. Bogosian has not had a steady defensive partner, but John Hynes has paired Bogosian with Goose lately. 

    In 11 games together, the Goose and Bogo pair lead the Wild in CF% with 52.07%. That's better than the Brock Faber-Jake Middleton pair, and their recent efforts have helped the Wild control possession. The pair is starting almost 60% of their draws in the offensive zone, but the pair has a combined age of 71. They need the help. 

    Bogosian is fourth in xGF% with 58.83% and seventh in GF% with 65.08 since arriving in Minnesota. That means he’s outproducing what he’s supposed to at this point. He’ll eventually regress to the mean, but the Wild will ride the Bogo mojo while they have it. 

    Bogosian has never been an offensive force. He has scored over 20 points three times in 15 seasons while maxing out at 30 in the 2011-12 season. Bogosian only has three assists in 17 games this season, which is last among regular defensemen. But Bogosian is fourth this year in GF/60 with 3.19 goals, outproducing guys like Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy

    On the defensive side of the puck, Bogosian’s 1.71 GA/60 is middle of the pack for Minnesota. The 6-foot-2, 220-lbs. defenseman has been a solid defensive presence on a Wild team desperate for stability. He's also been laying the body; Bogosian is fourth in hits since coming from Tampa. He has been using his large frame to get in the way of pucks, blocking the fifth-most shots on the team. 

    While Bogosian has diverted expectations on the offensive side of the puck, the Massena, New York native can’t escape his old bad habits. Bogosian is fourth on the team in minor penalties taken, and he owns a -5 plus/minus. If not for Boldy’s abnormal streak of penalties, Bogo would have taken the most penalties on the Wild. Bogosian lacks speed, and his lack of skating often leads him to hook and slash his opponents. 

    Few people had high expectations for Bogosian when the Wild traded for him. With Spurgeon back practicing, Bogosian won’t need to play as many minutes. But Minnesota has peace of mind knowing that Bogo can step up when they call upon him.

    All stats and data via Evolving Hockey, Natural Stat Trick, and HockeyDB unless otherwise noted. 

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    A lot was made of moving Addison for Bogosian.  I think Guerin lost patience with Addison's..."limited" defensive skillet.  Addison got outhustled by Faber to be top defenseman by day 1.  There are people waiting their turns, and with Faber, Brodin, Middleton, and Spurgeon the top 4, the writing was on the wall.


    Bogo is here to hold serve until next year, when hopefully Hunt, Lambos, etc do make the roster full time.

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    I am happy to report that I was utterly wrong on this deal. While I still believe that Addison has the potential to be a good defenseman down the road, Bogosian has done better than I could have imagined and really played up to the opportunity he was given. Never been happier to eat crow as I thought he might be a disaster based on his history.


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    26 minutes ago, TheGoosesAreLooses said:

    I am happy to report that I was utterly wrong on this deal. While I still believe that Addison has the potential to be a good defenseman down the road, Bogosian has done better than I could have imagined and really played up to the opportunity he was given. Never been happier to eat crow as I thought he might be a disaster based on his history.


    I had the same thoughts, i would have liked to se Addison given a little more tim but glad I was wrong about Bogo.

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    8 hours ago, Pewterschmidt said:

    Bogosian, Ian Cole, Soucy the list goes on.  Serviceable bottom pair d man are easy to find and shouldn’t be given too much term or AAV.  

    Yet it happens every single summer. 

    Luke Schenn.exe

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    I told you guys from the beginning this was a good chain of deals for us this year. If we went through these injuries having to use Addison in the top 4, we'd be in big, big trouble. 

    For those who are Addison fans, he is developing with the Sharks, getting over 18 minutes a night for them. In 21 games, he's a -12 with 1-5-6. 3 of those points is on the PP. If Addison is going to make it, he needs to be on a developing team getting high ice time like he is. Perhaps the change of scenery will do him well?

    Bogosian is a big bodied RHS defender which we haven't had in a long time. 3rd pairing defenders are supposed to be the ones who get the dirty jobs, like PK assignments. But, thrust into an emergency 2nd pairing role, Bogosian has held his own, about the best we could expect from him. He also has a reputation of being mean, and most players are quite aware of that style. We needed a guy like this as we didn't have one for the right side. Midsy is good, but he's just one guy.

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