|6’2”||179 lbs||Jan 1, 2005||D||R||26th 2021||18th N A||CANADA|
|2020-2021||HEO U-18||DID NOT PLAY|
|2021-20222||GOJHL||St Thomas Stars||32||5||27||32|
When you take a peek at public draft rankings around North America, you will find that almost all of them have London Knights Defenceman Oliver Bonk ranked late in the first round or very early in the second round. There is one however that has him in the middle of the third round. NHL Central Scouting has him 18th among North American skaters on their mid term rankings and by the time you add in the Europeans, you’re looking at a late first.
One thing we know about the 26th overall pick at the 2021 OHL Priority Selection: he has climbed on every list.
Bonk has the bloodlines. His father Radek Bonk spent 14 seasons in the NHL and played in 969 games collecting 194 goals and 303 assists.
Bonk’s greatest asset is his hockey IQ. He thinks the game at such a high level. First, in the defensive zone his positioning is near perfect. His possesses a very active stick and breaks up plays by anticipating where the puck is going and using that stick to defend. His transition game is still growing but he has the ability to skate out of the zone or utilize his teammates with good passes.
That high hockey IQ is also evident in the offensive zone. He reads and reacts quickly. He his sneaky at getting into the open areas of the ice to make himself available. On the rush, he is willing to jump up into the play and has near perfect timing. He has a good shot from the point and can get it off quickly and find the target more often than not.
Bonk skates really well for a bigger defenceman but if he could add more speed, it would be a bonus. He’s agile enough, is strong on his skates and is a very good backwards skater. While he uses his size well to engage and move players from the front of his net, he can improve on that area when he adds some bulk to his frame.
Bonk has grown into a very good player and continues to be a work in progress. At this point, it’s difficult to say whether his offensive game will translate to the next level but it’s fair to say he can find success in a defensive role if the offence doesn’t come.
But I wouldn’t bet against him.