Happy Independence Day (again)! The Devils Draft Prospect Series continues with a look at another 2016 draft pick and the other half of the Super Buddies. I looked at Michael McLeod this morning so be sure to check that out and don’t forget to look through the “Draft Prospect Series” tag to find profiles for every 2017 draft pick!
Ah, yes. I couldn’t write about McLeod this morning and not cover his social media advisor, Nathan Bastian, today too, now could I? OHL (and hopefully NHL) teammates Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian play for the same OHL team (the Mississauga Steelheads) and were drafted by the same NHL team (the New Jersey Devils). Here’s to hoping that they tear up the league together.
Bastian was selected 41st overall by the Devils in the second round of the 2016 NHL Entry-Level Draft. He’s also 19-years old, and checks in at 6′ 4″ and 205 pounds. He’s played right wing (and is listed as one) but played center for the second half of this past season for ‘Sauga. If he can play right wing for the Devils, that would help fill a huge gap in their depth system. He’s played four-ish years with the Steelheads and will play for Binghamton, the Devils’ AHL affiliate, in the fall. I would definitely expect him to get some playing time in New Jersey, possibly just enough games before his entry-level contract kicks in.
Here are his stats:
In four seasons with Mississauga, he has 136 points (54 goals, 82 assists) in 209 regular season games and 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 29 playoff games. He’s averaged 0.65 points per game in the regular season. He was also named an OHL All-Star the past two seasons, just like McLeod. This past season, he scored 45 points in 58 regular season games, 14 points in 20 playoff games. He finished 19th among playoff scorers throughout the league (and 8th on the Steelheads); he finished 5th among the Steelheads in regular season scoring. He and McLeod both had excellent playoff runs and were a huge reason why the Steelheads made it as far as they did.
Like McLeod, Bastian is a well-rounded player. He’s not bad offensively but he’s strong defensively. He can play well in every zone. He’s physical and he uses his body when he has to but he could stand to use it more. His penalty minute numbers are a little lower than I expected them to be based on what I’ve watched him do on the ice. He’s willing to learn and that’s important. He has a ton of skills and knows how to put them together.
Watch him for yourself:
And because I just had to watch it again:
Bastian has been a ton of fun to watch in Mississauga. I think I’ve watched almost every Steelhead game this past season, and probably most of, if not all of, their playoff games, and Bastian is fun. He’s fast too. He’s quick. He’s a good skater. He has a lot to work with. He could be more physical but that’s something he can learn to do. Getting AHL and NHL experience this upcoming season could do wonders for his development, and he’ll probably switch between center and right wing (I’d like to see him stay at RW).
But here’s what Tyler Parchem (Elite Prospects) had to say about him:
Parchem compares him to James Van Riemsdyk, New Jersey native and current Toronto Maple Leaf, who is a former second overall pick. Van Riemsdyk is a great left wing and I can see the comparison but again, Bastian is his own hockey player.
Listen, I love him too. He’s a great kid and a great hockey player. I can’t wait to watch him at his second Devils development camp alongside Mikey and it’ll be fun. Hopefully we’ll get to watch him play a game or two for New Jersey as well.