After a disappointing first season with the Nashville Predators, Nick Bonino had a bounce-back season, upping his point total by ten this season, but how would we grade it?
This season for the Nashville Predators, Nick Bonino scored 17 goals and added 18 assists for 35 points, which is a renaissance from last year, where he scored five less goals and assists to total for 25.
2018-19 wasn’t the best season for the now 31 year old Bonino, ranking third out of all of his seasons in goals and fourth in points, but it has been the best he has looked in a Nashville Predators uniform.
Although these numbers aren’t the best for a player who is getting paid $4.1 million until 2021, he has fit his role as a defensive third line center quite nicely.
He has spent a lot of time on the Nashville Predators penalty kill, which ranked sixth in the NHL in penalty kill percentage with 82.1%, finishing just five-tenths of a percentage outside of the top five behind the Dallas Stars.
He also had the best plus/minus of his career, and although the stat isn’t the greatest way to project how great a defensive player is, a 13 point increase from his career high in that stat, as well as a 23 point increase from his prior season definitely shows some improvement in his defensive zone play.
His faceoff numbers took a dip from last season, where he posted a career best 54.33% in the faceoff dot, but he did put up his second best total in his career with 51.77%, only the third time in his ten year career when he won more than 50% of his faceoffs.
In the playoffs, he only put up two assists, had a plus/minus of -3 and had an outstanding faceoff percentage of 58.82% in the Nashville Predators six game series against the Dallas Stars.
Sure, this season still wasn’t great compared to other players around the league with the same salary as Bonino, but it was still a good one by his standards, which is why I will be giving him a B for the 2018-19 season.
Nick Bonino was a driving force defensively for the Nashville Predators and improved on his offensive numbers, so there is no doubt in my mind he was an important part of last season’s squad. However, if improvements are made next season, he could help the Preds achieve something great.