OHL Prospect Profile: Eric Bonsteel
– Eric Bonsteel –
Mississauga Senators | Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible
Ontario, Canada | 6-foot, 163-pounds | 2003-Born
If the Mississauga Senators hope to legitimately compete with the GTHL’s top teams this season, they’ll need to commit themselves to a defence-first style of play.
Powerhouse teams such as the Don Mills Flyers, Toronto Nationals, and Toronto Marlboros are defined and driven by their elite offensive attacks, making the ability to halt these attacks before transitioning up the ice crucial to the success of clubs such as the Senators. Fortunately, Mississauga boasts a solid defender capable of not only securing his own zone but leading his team’s offensive attack in the opposing zone.
In Eric Bonsteel, the Senators feature a solid two-way defender who can make an impact in all three zones of the ice. As a strong skater of ample size, Bonsteel can strip opposing players of the puck before joining the rush and supplementing his team’s offence owing to his powerful blast from the point.
Let’s take a closer look at Bonsteel’s game, and the facets which have made him so impressive to date.
For Bonsteel, his game is founded largely upon his strong skating abilities and on-ice vision. Capable of maneuvering throughout his own zone with ease, Bonsteel attacks and smothers opposing attackers before out-letting the puck to his forwards. Owing to his great vision, Bonsteel regularly makes crisp and accurate breakout passes and has the ability to join the rush as a result of his predictive mind.
Related: OHL Draft Rankings
It is Bonsteel’s clear vision and strong skating abilities which allow Bonsteel to play a significant role in the offensive zone. Mobile on the blue line and able to position himself in high percentage scoring areas, Bonsteel’s ability to move the puck and pound his booming shot on goal helps to generate a great deal of offence for his teammates.
Related: OHL Draft Prospects
Strong on his skates and rarely overpowered during puck battles, Bonsteel has quickly proven to be a sound two-way defender and one of the more promising of which ahead of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. What’s more is the fact that Bonsteel is also natural leader on the ice. As vocal as they come, Bonsteel demands the best from his teammates and regularly leads by example — a willingness which makes Bonsteel not only a quality player but a well-rounded individual.
Area of Improvement:
- Foot Speed
- Shot Accuracy
Although Bonsteel is a extremely promising young prospect, areas in need of improvement do exist within his game.
Particularly, there is Bonsteel’s foot-speed.
While he is a strong skater of substantial speed and mobility, Bonsteel’s acceleration and ability to change directions — especially so within his own zone — would do well to improve. Now, this is not to say that Bonsteel is lacking by any means, but rather that he would become an even more capable defender if able to improve his first step quickness and explosiveness.
Moreover, there is Bonsteel’s shot.
While Bonsteel’s shot is heavy and his release is quick, the youngster often misses the net when blasting the puck on-goal. If able to hit his target with greater consistency, Bonsteel would generate even greater offensive opportunities for his team — his heavy shot can force a wealth of rebounds for his teammates to pounce upon.
While the Senators’ play and potential for success this season remains uncertain, the skill-set and capabilities of Bonsteel stand as not only definitive but remarkably clear.
Boasting a strong frame, sound skating abilities, and a remarkable sense of vision on the ice, Bonsteel could very well be made a second-to-third round choice in the upcoming 2019 OHL Priority Selection.
Well-known for his ability to influence the outcome of any given game through his efforts in all three zones of the ice, Bonsteel’s commitment to his team and its success labels the youngster as a mature player ready for the challenge which the OHL presents.
Sure, he would do well to improve particular aspects of his skating as well as his shot accuracy, yet the fact remains that Bonsteel’s two-way play will attract the interest of a wealth of OHL franchises come April of 2019.