Oliver Bonk – 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Oliver Bonk

2022-23 Team: London Knights (OHL)
Date of Birth: Jan. 9, 2005
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Height: 6-foot-1, Weight: 176 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: D
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 First-Year Eligible


Oliver Bonk, son of long-time NHLer Radek Bonk, has been developing as one of the top two-way defenders of his draft class. Projected to go in the late first round, plenty of teams will have their eye on the mobile, defensively sound Ottawa native. His play in all areas of the ice show confidence in his own skills. His best plays begin in the defensive zone, starting with puck retrieval in board battles. While he isn’t a behemoth, he uses his 6-foot-1 frame well and plays a physical game. Once the puck is on his stick, it doesn’t take long for him to make a crisp transition pass or skate the puck out on his own.

Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide

While his point production wasn’t record-breaking, his 40 points just begins to scratch the surface of his true offensive potential. He makes smart passes and has a strong shot from the blue line, but during the aforementioned transitions, he sets up a lot of plays that he doesn’t necessarily get credit for on the scoresheet. He plays a game similar to Jared Spurgeon, but of course with the difference being in their size.

Oliver Bonk London Knights
Oliver Bonk, London Knights (Natalie Shaver/OHL Images)

While speed isn’t his strongest suit, Bonk is able to use strong edgework and his great stick-checking abilities to shut down offensive rushes coming his way. He was a minute-eating defenseman who was trusted in all situations of play this season. The future is bright for Bonk as he will continue to develop his skillset which is already reaching a high level. The expectation would be that he would return to the London Knights for the 2023-24 season, but with a player such as him, he could earn a trial run out of training camp depending on who he is drafted by.

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Whoever drafts Bonk is likely securing a safe bet for a future top-four defenseman. He doesn’t have any glaring holes in his game, and while there are no stand-out skills that stick out above the rest, he is one of the safest defensive prospects to draft in the back half of the first round.

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Oliver Bonk – NHL Draft Projection

Most mock drafts are seeing Bonk as quite the riser due to his play this season. Projected to go in the tail end of the first round, he is a prime candidate to be taken higher than many expect. There are not a ton of high-end defensive prospects in this draft, and looking at a team with multiple first-round draft picks, they could reach a bit to take such a well-rounded defenseman in the early 20s of the draft.


“Bonk’s toolkit looks like an NHL defenseman. He’s a 6-foot-2 right shot with strong mobility and offensive touch. Bonk is able to skate pucks up ice, make some skilled plays, and shows good poise from the blue line.” – Corey Pronman (from ‘2023 NHL Draft prospects: Bedard No. 1 on Corey Pronman’s ranking, Fantilli and Michkov next’, The Athletic, March 7, 2023)

Latest News & Highlights

“He’s another admirably-skating defender in this draft class, but sets himself apart with how well he’s able to blend into offensive systems. Bonk retrieves pucks cleanly and takes advantage of all space between him and the offensive blue line.” – Gabriel Foley (Recruit Scouting)


  • Transition and breakout
  • Hockey sense
  • Skating
  • Confidence

Under Construction – Improvements To Make

  • Speed

NHL Potential

Bonk has all of the skills to be a defensively responsible defenseman that can be trusted in a top-four role on an NHL team. His offensive abilities shouldn’t be looked over either, though. He won’t be putting up a ton of NHL points but his puck-moving abilities will be very noticeable during transitions. He may get an opportunity to quarterback a second power play unit, but he won’t be relied upon to have all of the offense run through him.

Risk-Reward Potential

Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 7/10, Defense – 8/10

Oliver Bonk Statistics