Nick Bonino
Nick Bonino
31-Year-Old CenterC
Nashville Predators
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The 31-year-old looked more comfortable during his second season with the Predators in 2018-19, posting 17 goals and 35 points with a plus-27 rating and 118 shots on net in 81 games. He saw his scoring numbers increase across the board, and his plus-minus rating (plus-27) was the best of his career. In two seasons with Nashville, Bonino owns a 14.4 shooting percentage, which is more than 3.0 percent higher than his career norm. Although Bonino has benefitted from skating against the opposition's second or third defensive pairings during his time with the Predators, he held the same advantage (perhaps even moreso) in Pittsburgh, and it's unlikely that his shot has improved in his early thirties. That means the veteran pivot could be due for a regression in shooting percentage this year, which might make it difficult for him to reach the 15-goal, 30-point marks for a second straight season. The arrival of Matt Duchene could also mean less ice time for Bonino in 2019-20, so fantasy owners may want to consider alternative options in the later rounds of drafts this year. Read Past Outlooks
$Bonino signed a four-year, $16.4 million contract with the Predators in July of 2017.
Pots goal Thursday
CNashville Predators
October 17, 2019
Bonino scored a goal on two shots in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Coyotes.
Bonino's third-period tally briefly gave the Predators hope for a comeback, but it wasn't meant to be. The center has amassed five points, nine blocked shots and 12 shots on goal over seven games.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Let's face it - Bonino's first year in Nashville was pretty much a bust. Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Bonino was brought in to center the Predators' second line, but after scoring just one point in the first five games followed by a lower-body injury, the Preds realized he was not the right fit. Cue the arrival of Kyle Turris, who showed instant chemistry with Craig Smith and Kevin Fiala, pushing Bonino down to a checking-line role on the third line. Bonino still averaged 15:38 in ice time, however 2:05 of that was spent killing penalties. He finished the regular season with just 25 points - 12 fewer than the previous season with Pittsburgh, and he didn't see any meaningful time on the power play, either, compared to the 1:44 average ice time and 11 points he registered with the Pens. Looking ahead, it's hard to envision a situation where Bonino sees any more on-ice responsibility than he did last season, provided Ryan Johansen and Kyle Turris stay healthy. From a fantasy perspective, Bonino is more a case of "buyer beware" because you just never know what kind of season he's going to deliver.
During his two years with the Penguins, Bonino was stuck as a third-line center behind likely Hall of Famers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but he still managed to rack up a respectable 66 points in 143 regular-season outings, not to mention robust postseason production -- though he missed the final four games of the Stanley Cup Finals to a broken leg. Now with the Predators, the 29-year-old figures to center the second line and potentially the No. 1 power-play unit, which would naturally come with an uptick in ice time. Assuming he comes back in full health, fantasy owners shouldn't be surprised to see Bonino challenge the career-high 49 points he tallied during the 2013-14 campaign.
Few players have gone from shockingly bad to shockingly good the way Bonino did in 2015-16. Despite averaging 0.46 points per game through his first six NHL seasons, the center scored only four goals and 13 points in his first 50 games with Pittsburgh. Fortunately for him, a midseason trade and ensuing line shakeup changed Bonino’s fortune and that of the Penguins. Along with the Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel, coach Mike Sullivan put Bonino at center on a unit which would go on to become the vaunted HBK Line. The center collected 16 points in the final 13 regular-season contests and added 18 points in 24 playoff games en route to the Stanley Cup. Bonino’s play lends itself to injury – he blocked 50 shots while playing through a postseason elbow infection – but look for at least a half-point-per-game pace from him when that trio is together.
Bonino got off to a red-hot start in his first season with Vancouver, but went through a massive cold stretch during the middle of the year before finishing the season strong. The 26-year-old’s inconsistent play may have been one of the reasons he was shipped to Pittsburgh during the offseason in exchange for the more versatile Brandon Sutter. Coming off a 15-goal, 39-point season, the 6-foot-1 center comes to a Pittsburgh team that already has its top two pivot positions filled by superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Thus, Bonino will likely slot in as the team’s third-line center. The Penguins are so loaded with the offseason acquisition of Phil Kessel that their second power-play unit, which is projected to include Bonino along with Olli Maatta, David Perron and Chris Kunitz, will likely produce a ton of goals. Bonino managed just one power-play tally last season after striking a career-high seven times with the man advantage in 203-14 with the Ducks, so look for him to bounce back in that department. Although he isn’t a major point producer, he has a terrific shot that should make a 20-goal season with the offensively loaded Penguins a realistic objective.
Bonino and Luca Sbisa arrived from the Ducks in an offseason deal that saw star forward Ryan Kesler head south. Bonino is coming off a great year in Anaheim in which he recorded a career-high 22 goals and 49 points. He was absolutely lethal on the power play, recording seven goals and 20 points. And he proved his regular season was no fluke later on in the playoffs, helping the Ducks to the second round with four goals and eight points in 13 postseason games. With his new squad, Bonino should slot in as the team’s second-line center, while serving as a fixture on the power play. Much is expected of Bonino, but he’s no Ryan Kesler. Prior to last season, the 26-year-old had never recorded more than 18 points in a season. He should be a decent fantasy contributor in Vancouver, but don’t expect much more than 20 goals.
Despite having a torn hamstring in March, Bonino was able to return and record 13 points in the 27 games in which he played. He also logged four points during the Ducks' first round playoff loss to the Red Wings. This will be an important season for Bonino. Not only is a contract year, but it's also his first real shot at a significant top-six role. He will compete for the job of second-line center and will provide decent production if he wins it. Left-coast guys tend to drop in drafts, so you might be able to score him as a later-round keeper as a result. Watch him carefully in camp.
Bonino played a career-high 50 games last season, registering five goals and 13 assists. He should remain a depth forward for the Ducks and does not provide a great amount of fantasy value.
Bonino, who played sparingly in 26 games with the Ducks last year, signed a one-year deal with the team this past July. He went scoreless averaging 9:48 of ice time in the NHL, and mostly played with Syracuse in the AHL. The rookie center will be competing for time on the fourth line this season and should see a lot of action in the preseason.
More Fantasy News
Collects pair of points
CNashville Predators
October 15, 2019
Bonino scored a power-play goal and added an assist in Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Golden Knights.
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Occupying third line role
CNashville Predators
October 13, 2019
Bonino has just a goal and an assist in five games this season after being held off the scoresheet in Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Kings.
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Productive in preseason opener
CNashville Predators
September 17, 2019
Bonino racked up two goals and an assist while firing five shots on net during Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Panthers.
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Picks apple
CNashville Predators
April 15, 2019
Bonino gathered an assist, three shots and two PIM in Monday's 3-2 win over the Stars in Game 3.
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Rakes in assist
CNashville Predators
April 10, 2019
Bonino generated an assist in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Stars in Game 1.
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