Athletics & Recreation

DU hockey standout stays put … for now

If you’re at a University of Denver hockey game and you happen to take notice of Pioneers’ forward and scoring machine Tyler Bozak, join the crowd.

The sophomore standout has attracted numerous scouts, and rumors are flying around faster than a hard-slammed puck that he’ll be leaving DU for the pros.


“I’m definitely staying through the end of this season, and I don’t even know if I’ll go [pro] next year,” says Bozak, who’s arguably one of the top two-way forwards in the WCHA and ranks in the top five in scoring and assists.

He declined pro offers last spring, choosing instead to stay at DU, he says, to become stronger and better.

Gwozdecky, DU’s hockey coach, says he is indeed getting better and stronger and that teams are lining up for him. “He’s clearly one of the top free agents in the country.”

The coach adds that one reason Bozak, who led DU in scoring as a freshman last year with 34 points, is so valuable is because he’s as good defensively and as he is offensively. “That’s a tremendous asset,” Gwozdecky says.

Bozak’s staying is plainly good news for the Pioneers, which some believe stand a good chance of winning the national title this season. Bozak is among the believers.

“We want the championship. That’s the big goal,” Bozak says. “It’d be amazing. We have a deep team with a lot of talent, so I think there’s a good chance we can win it.”

With or without the top trophy, Gwozdecky says it will be “more challenging” for Bozak to make a decision to stay or go this spring because “the teams will make it harder on him to turn down their offers because he is improving.”

On one recent weekend at DU, eight teams lined up to speak with Bozak, according to a report on, a social networking sports site.

“Teams have talked to me, but for now I’m just concentrating on DU and winning here,” Bozak says.

[Editor’s note: Tyler Bozak underwent knee surgery in late December. He aims to return in the postseason after undergoing rehab.]

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