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A late 1997 birthdate, Nathan Bastian is the third of four highly hyped Mississauga Steelheads eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft. He put up 19 goals and 40 assists for 59 in 64 games, playing mainly a top six role for the Steelheads this year. He also added four assists in five games, in the Steelheads first round playoff loss to the Barrie Colts. Bastian also played for Team Orr in the CHL Top Prospects game, and for Team OHL in the Subway Super Series against Russia. A seventh round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Draft, Nathan Bastian has shown great improvement over the last three years, and barring a major surprise, will be picked much higher than that in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Nathan Bastian Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #34
Wing/Centre — shoots Right
Born Dec 6 1997 — Kitchener, ONT
Height 6’04” — Weight 208 lbs [193 cm / 94 kg]
At 6’4″ tall, a big and strong forward, Nathan Bastian isn’t one to initiate the contact often, but he certainly doesn’t shy away from it. He uses his excellent size to win battles for loose pucks in the corners, to protect the puck on the cycle and to establish position in front of the net. Bastian is able to use his size, leaning on his opponents and taking full advantage of his superior size and strength at the junior level. Once he gets the puck he has good vision and a high hockey IQ to be a play maker for his linemates. Bastian also has the soft hands to execute deflections and bang in rebounds close to the net. Once he establishes position in front of the net, he is very hard to move out of from that area. He also has a heavy wrist shot, with a quick release that can fool goaltenders. Bastian’s strength is an asset at the junior level, but he still looks skinny. He will need to add muscle before he is effective playing this style at the pro level.
Bastian was a weak skater in 2014-15 but has really improved and now shows good skating skills for a big man. He has a quick first step and very good acceleration. His decent top end speed allows him to get in quickly on the forecheck and cause turnovers. Bastian has excellent balance and power in his stride, allowing him to fight through checks and get to the front of the net. This could even improve as he adds lower body strength. He could stand to have a bit more agility which would allow him to better maneuver through traffic.
Bastian is also very good positionally, and defensively mature for his age. He covers the point well, and is willing to use his big body to block shots and his long stick to disrupt passing lanes. Bastian anticipates plays well and can break them up as a result. He has become a trusted forward for the Steelheads, often being used on the team’s penalty killing units. Bastian has the versatility to play all three forward positions, as he played centre on the top line while Michael McLeod was injured this year. He could stand to work on his faceoff skills, but hasn’t had that many opportunities at centre this year.
Bastian might not be as mean and as physical as scouts would like to see out of a player his size, but he definitely has the skill to still be an effective power forward type. While he’s played a little bit of centre for the Steelheads, his future is likely on the wing. Stylistically, Bastian’s game is similar to former Toronto Maple Leaf, Nik Antropov, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on his skill and potential.
The following is a compilation of Nathan Bastian highlights, taken from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #35 prospect on our NHL Draft board.