- Age: 18, 1997-12-06
- Birthplace: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
- Frame: 6’4″, 207 lbs.
- Position: RW/C
- Handedness: R
- Draft Year Team: Mississauga Steelheads
- Accomplishments/Awards: 2015/16 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
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Bastian is a forward with great size who performs well in all aspects of the game. He has a good shot and can dish the puck as well as any in the OHL. He could benefit from getting a little meaner, but has shown vast improvement throughout his OHL career. He is a good skater for such a large player. Some have compared him to a James Van Riemsdyk. He should be considered a legitimate NHL prospect.
From Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News: (February 2016)
Things are really starting to pick up speed for Bastian, a 6-foot-4, 208-pound force in Mississauga. He originally came onto the radar as the left winger on Sauga’s top line with fellow 2016 draft prospects Mikey McLeod and Alexander Nylander, but a lower-body injury to McLeod has Bastian at pivot now. In the three games since McLeod went down, Bastian has five points and the Steelheads are undefeated. The first game saw Bastian go head-to-head with Erie super prospect Dylan Strome and hold his own. The kid did play center as a rookie, but bouncing back and forth this year has been a great experience.
Bastian served as one third of one of the best lines in the CHL this season, playing alongside Michael McLeod and Alexander Nylander. While he was the third wheel on that line, he’s still a very good prospect, in his own right. A two-way forward with power elements in his game, he shows solid stick skills and has the ability to make creative offensive plays to maintain possession. Bastian is a big, strong forward who grinds out battles and plays every shift hard. I don’t love his skating, and given that he doesn’t have high-end offensive touch with the puck, I’m not sure I see him as having the talent to rate as a potential top-six forward for an NHL team.
From Steve Kournianos, Draft Analyst: (February 2016)
Bastian is what we call a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. He’s a gritty, grind-it-out winger who can also play the pivot, and when you combine his work ethic with an opportunistic approach, the results come in bunches. He’s the perfect compliment to a finesse player or nigh-volume shot taker, as he knows how to position himself for slam dunks.
As all the scouting reports suggest, Bastian is a player that doesn’t do anything elite but does everything well. The Kitchener native does possess a good wrist shot, but it can’t be classified as elite. He skates well for his size, but could see an improvement in that aspect, which in this day and age seems to be a workable skill when the player is starting at a reasonably adequate level. He also sees the ice well and is defensively responsible. What makes him attractive is that he has played with two high end talents in Nylander and McLeod and didn’t look out of place.
He also has the ability to play down the lineup and be a player who uses his size to create his own chances. He isn’t a ‘bang and crasher’ by nature, but if that is what the team needs to be successful, then it appears willing to do so, and try to use that to create offence.
As we can see, Nathan Bastian started the season off with a bang, scoring three points in the season opener but quickly fell below a point per game for October. He actually saw an increase in production when Alexander Nylander was at the World Junior championships. Which normally would be the case if a player saw an increase in role, but Nathan Bastian and Alexander Nylander were line-mates for the majority of the season. So it’s interesting to see that he saw an uptick in production when Nylander was gone.
Unfortunately ice time is not tracked in the OHL, so we can’t verify if he saw an increase in ice time, but it’s safe to assume it wasn’t a drastic difference. Could Bastian knowing that he was expected to handle more of the offensive responsibilities mean that the Kitchener native changed the way he played?
If so, it would be wise to get him to play like that all the time.
He accumulated 47 primary points this season, which was ranked 9th amongst draft eligible OHL players.
When looking at the pGPS for Bastian, a very respectable 41.67% went onto becoming NHL regulars. That is likely due to his size of 6’4″ and being just under 1.0 PPG.
Bastian isn’t someone that I would target with a late first round pick, but would consider him in the early to mid second – especially if your team’s prospect pool is lacking big skilled players.