Prospect of Interest: The 411 on Nathan Bastian

General managers from around the NHL comment on the importance of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Nathan Bastian is a big, bruising forward from Kitchener, Ont. He’s a versatile player who models his game after Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter and Winnipeg Jets pivot Mark Scheifele, so if he can get on the same track of those players, you know he’ll have a successful NHL career.

Let’s put this 2016 NHL prospect under the microscope for a deeper look at his profile.

Age on June 24: 18
Current Team: Mississauga Steelheads, OHL
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Left
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 208 pounds
From: Kitchener, ON.
Twitter: @14Nbast
NHL Central Scouting Rank (North America): 35th

Jeff Marek’s Take: Has grown half a foot since he started playing in the OHL. He’s a power forward who can also play a skilled game. There’s big upside to Bastian once the skating improves.

All-around game…
According to, there’s not one particular thing about Bastian’s game that stands out. He’s a well-rounded player.

“He has a good shot and can dish the puck as well as any in the OHL,” says the report. “He’s a good skater for such a large player. He should be considered a legitimate NHL prospect.”

Most improved…
Bastian was a seventh-round pick of the Steelheads back in 2013, and since arriving on the scene he’s become one of the most improved players in the league.

Bastian put up 17 goals and 12 assists for 29 points in 68 games with Mississauga in 2014-15. He put up 19 goals and 40 assists in 64 games this season.

“For me to be playing well, I have to be a big forward and a 200-foot guy,” Bastian told Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News. “This year I’ve been able to pitch in more offensively.”

Loving his linemates…
Bastian was fortunate to fill out a line with two outstanding 2016 NHL prospects in Mike McLeod and Alex Nylander.

“We all contribute in our own ways,” Bastian told Daniel Nugent-Bowman of Yahoo Sports. “Mikey’s one of the best centremen in the whole league. He’s fast and good on draws. Alex, if you get him the puck, he’s probably going to put it in the back of the net. I’m good defensively and good along the wall in my own end.

“When we’re all working together and playing well it’s pretty obvious that we’re having a lot of fun out there.”

Keep working on that stride…
If there’s one thing Bastian can improve on, it’s his footwork. And he knows it.

“I need to work on my skating,” he told “Quick feet, lateral movement—stuff like that to keep improving my game.”

A dip in the rankings…
Perhaps the point-per-game pace Bastian set at the beginning of the year was a little unsustainable. His centre, McLeod, also missed some games due to injury, forcing him to assume those duties.

While Bastian’s stock rose considerably at the beginning of the year—he ranked 19th among North American prospects, according to NHL Central Scouting—it dropped all the way down to 35th by season’s end.

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