The Seattle Kraken have selected right winger Nathan Bastian from the New Jersey Devils.
Nathan Bastian was selected by the New Jersey Devils in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft with the 41st-overall pick in the second round. He originates from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, and is a 23-year-old right wing and played for the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for part of the 2013-14 season while also playing for the Brantford Bandits of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL). He played for the Steelheads until the end of the 2016-17 season before playing for the then Binghamton Devils.
Professional Journey Through the 2020-21 Season
Bastian played for the Devils of the American Hockey League (AHL) beginning in 2017-18 until the 2019-20 season. The most productive season he had for the Devils was in 2019-20 when he played in 62 games and had 16 goals, 22 assists for 38 points. The success he had in the AHL earned him the opportunity to play in the NHL last season for the Devils. He played in 41 of the 56 games, and had three goals and seven assists for 10 points.
The Devils re-signed Bastian in June 2021 to a two-year contract worth $775,000 in 2021-22 and $875,000 in the 2022-23 season. He will be a restricted free agent (RFA) after his contract expires in two seasons. The organization has plenty of young players to sign, so Seattle’s selection allows the team to come to agreements with the other members of the roster who are in need of new deals.
Bastian is a physical player with size who is not known for his offensive skills. The young forward has good penalty-killing ability and value as a bottom-six forward. He demonstrated his physicality last season by leading the team with 136 hits. According to an article by The Athletic NHL Staff, Corey Masisak included the following in his excerpt about the young forward:
“He found a home on new coach Lindy Ruff’s “energy line” in his first full NHL season. Bastian is not a great skater, but he has improved to where he can keep up at this level and enjoys being a tenacious forechecker. He’s also got sneaky good hands for a player of his profile and will make the odd nice play in a tight spot behind the net or in a crowd in front of it. Bastian embraced his role as an energy guy and can be someone who helps the fourth line win the possession battle as well.”From “Who did the Seattle Kraken select in the NHL expansion draft?” by The Athletic NHL Staff, The Athletic, 7/21/21
Notable Devils Players Exposed Not Selected by Kraken
• P.K. Subban is a veteran defenseman at 32 years of age who is entering the final year of his contract in 2021-22. He will earn $9 million and his deal counts for 11.0 percent against the Devils’ cap.
• Andreas Johnsson is a 26-year-old forward who had a breakout season in 2018-19 with the Toronto Maple Leafs as he had 20 goals, 23 assists for 43 points in 73 games. He struggled in his first season with the Devils with only five goals and six assists for 11 points in 50 games.
• Will Butcher is a 26-year-old defenseman who struggled last season and was often a healthy scratch. He is entering the last year of his contract that will pay him $3.733 million in 2021-22.
• Ryan Murray is a 27-year-old unrestricted free agent (UFA) defenseman who has had difficulty staying healthy during his career, as he played in all 82 games once throughout his eight-year career.
Matt covers the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins for The Hockey Writers. Matt’s priority is to contribute exceptional content about the Flyers and Penguins for THW and its readers. Matt writes for The Globe newspaper at Salt Lake Community College. To see more of Matt’s writing, visit his portfolio. For interview requests, follow Matt on Twitter that appears at the end of articles for THW.