From now until the beginning of training camp, Boston Hockey Now is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2022-23 Boston Bruins. Today’s player: Tomas Nosek.
Social Media handles: Instagram (@noseto19)
What Happened Last Year: Nosek, 29, had a solid first season with the Boston Bruins after signing in free agency and was a consistent presence on Boston’s fourth line. The good: Nosek was a hard-working penalty kill, won faceoffs and did all the little things in exactly the kind of role that was envisioned for him prior to his arrival in Boston.
The not-so-good: Nosek finished with three goals and 14 points in 75 games and finished as a minus player (minus-9) for a fourth line that really didn’t find their footing until the very end of the season, when Nick Foligno, Nosek and Curtis Lazar (along with a few games from Chris Wagner) gelled together and played very well in the playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Nosek experienced a lot of difficulty finishing off offensive chances created by his hard work on the ice, and it made the fourth line an offensive afterthought for most of the year. After scoring eight goals in each of the previous three NHL seasons, the hope is that it was more bad luck than anything else for him last season.
This poor bastard hasn’t scored a goal in 41 games dating back to Jan 2. Tonight Tomas Nosek is stuck in the torture chamber pic.twitter.com/8X23Qp7qKg
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 13, 2022
Questions To Be Answered This Season: Really, it comes down to whether there is more that Nosek can bring to the table offensively. Nosek is good at the little details and makes the kind of plays that help teams win hockey games, but he could have been more impactful at times if he could have finished off a few more plays.
Perhaps that will happen this season after sporting a bad luck 3.6 shooting percentage that was the worst of his NHL career and far below the 7.5 shooting percentage for his entire NHL career. Even three or four more goals spread out over the course of an NHL season could make the player, and thereby his line, more impactful when it comes to winning and losing those tight one-goal games.
Otherwise, Nosek is a perfectly good player that’s holding down a modest $1.75 million cap hit right in line what you should be paying for veteran fourth line players. The only other question is whether Nosek becomes one of the players that winds up getting moved by the Boston Bruins to create necessary salary cap space once rehabbing players like Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk and Brad Marchand come back to full game-playing health in late November.
In Their Words: “I know my main job is not scoring goals, but you’re still playing forward and you’re playing hockey. You want to produce. But that’s part of it and I tried to focus on my job and help win games. Sometimes you don’t do anything differently and it just doesn’t go your way. I didn’t focus on that. I tried to focus on helping the team win a game.” —Tomas Nosek on Boston Bruins breakup day.
Overall Outlook: Nosek is entering the final year of his contract with the Boston Bruins and, if the B’s management keeps with their customary practices, he probably won’t be back beyond this season. So this will be his chance to leave a lasting impression on his stint with the Black and Gold after an okay, but largely forgettable, first season where he paid attention to his details but didn’t do much to stand out from other potential fourth line center options. It wouldn’t surprise at all if Nosek really steps things up in this second season in Boston with his eye toward NHL employment beyond this upcoming season and giving Boston Bruins management something to think about as they cycle through fourth line options with players like Trent Frederic, Nick Foligno, Chris Wagner, Oskar Steen, and AJ Greer among others in the mix for energy line roles this season under a new coaching staff.