2016 NHL Draft Profiles: Nathan Bastian

Nathan Bastian – 6’4, 210-pound right winger/center from the Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Nathan Bastian Rankings

  • Ranked #35 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
  • Ranked #49 by McKeen’s Hockey Draft Guide
  • Ranked #82 in Craig Button’s final rankings

Nathan Bastian’s Scouting Report provided by Brock Otten of OHL Prospects

Nathan Bastian Strengths

  • I see him being a very good pro player. He’s 6’4, 210 pounds and can play any forward position, providing a lot of versatility to a lineup.
  • He’s also a great two-way player and a physical asset who is especially effective at using his body to gain possession in the offensive end.
  • This is impressive to me because, believe it or not, he was drafted into the OHL at 5’11, 155 pounds. He hit a major growth spurt and has taken some time to get used to the added size and how to adjust his playing style. I think that actually makes him more alluring as a prospect. There’s still room for him to grow physically (in terms of maturity). It’s scary to think about how good he could become in possession and as a physical player.
  • Offensively, his biggest asset is his vision and playmaking ability, something that’s not common for a power forward. When partnered with Alex Nylander and Mike McLeod, he was an underrated component to their success as a unit. He opened up space, but also did a great job displaying patience and poise with the puck, drawing defenders in before making a great pass to create a scoring chance.
  • I actually think he’s best suited as a center long term (he looked great there when Michael McLeod was out hurt). Steelheads GM James Boyd agrees (see below).

Nathan Bastian Weaknesses

  • He seems to have taken a big hit in the rankings the last few months, falling from late first round consideration to the mid second (or so). He struggled down the stretch of the 2015-16 season, but I think that had more to do with line pairings and usage than Bastian himself.
  • His shot and work in close to the net needs to be better, especially for a big guy, but it may just be a part of him continuing to grow as a player.

The Verdict

If you’re patient, you might have a 6’4 two-way center who can really control the possession game and be a physical nightmare to matchup against. Or you could have a Patrick Maroon type of player who can work as a complementary power piece on a second/third line.

Nathan Bastian Career Notes

  • Drafted round 7, #127 overall by Mississauga Steelheads in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection Draft.
  • Named to the 2015-16 CHL Top Prospects Game

Interview: James Boyd on Nathan Bastian

Mississauga Steelheads General Manager, James Boyd, on the Battle of Ontario:
What stands out with Nathan is his play along the wall. He’s able to shield the puck and use his body and his feet and keep the play alive or extend the play down deep in the offensive zone. That was his benefit to that line [with McLeod and Nylander] — he could do a lot of the grind work and get the puck to the front of the net or back to the point and make plays with people draped on him. That was really his value there.

We got him in the seventh round in the draft and he was kind of an awkward kid who had grown an awful lot. His improvement over the last two years has been phenomenal. If he continues to improve over the next few years as much as he has over these previous two years, the sky is the limit. All the boxes are checked: He’s got the work ethic, he’s got the size, he’s got the skill. Again, he’s a two-way guy and a responsible player. I think calling him the most improved player, or one of the most improved players in the OHL, is not an overstatement by any means.

I see Nathan Bastian as a centerman at the next level. We played him on that wing because there was that rare chemistry between three players. You often don’t see that. And he was effective on the wing. We happened to have some depth up the middle, so it worked for us. He’s 6’4, and he’s probably going to end up playing at 220 pounds as a centerman. He’s got great vision and he can see the ice. He distributes the puck well. He’s good in his own end as well.

We moved him to the middle [after Michael McLeod’s injury in February] and it was a seamless transition. He did a great job for us. He’s always been a center. He came into the league initially as a center. He has no preference where he plays. He can come to the game, and two hours before the game I can tell him, “Nathan, you’re playing center,” or, “Nathan, you’re playing wing.” He’s unfazed by that. I do think that he projects down the road as a centerman.

Nathan Bastian Statistics

2011-12Cambridge Hawks Minor Midget AAAAHMMPL50000|
2012-13Kitchener Jr. Rangers Mn Mgt AAAAHMMPL301113248|Playoffs1157120
Kitchener Jr. Rangers Mn Mgt AAAMidget5522254712|
2013-14Brantford Jr. B 99ersGOJHL4817294624|
Mississauga SteelheadsOHL192136-5|Playoffs40002-2
2014-15Mississauga SteelheadsOHL6817122922-29|
2015-16Mississauga SteelheadsOHL6419405950-3|Playoffs50440-3

Nathan Bastian Video