By AJ Manderichio
With the 2013-14 season only a few months away, AnaheimDucks.com takes a look at some of the younger Ducks who will likely have expanded roles and responsibilities.
Today, we look at Nick Bonino.
Despite an injury that sidelined him for 20 games, Bonino enjoyed one of his best seasons in the NHL. Appearing in his fourth NHL season, the Ducks center finished the regular season with five goals, tying a career high. He also hit a career milestone, playing in his 100th career NHL game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Feb. 18.
After recording an assist in the season opener, Bonino broke out with his first career hat trick against the rival Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 2 at Honda Center. He added an assist for good measure, recording a career high four-point night.
Bonino, who began the season on the fourth line, established himself as a top-six forward as the season progressed, and Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau often paired him with Teemu Selanne. The two developed chemistry and became a lethal one-two punch on Anaheim’s second line. He also saw time on the power play, becoming a regular on the team’s second unit.
Bonino’s career year reached new heights during his second career postseason, a seven-game series against the Detroit Red Wings. His three goals tied him for the team lead with Ryan Getzlaf, Emerson Etem and Kyle Palmieri. In fact, two of those goals served as game winners, including his dramatic Game 5 overtime goal at Honda Center.
Bonino’s responsibilities only grew during the regular season. Boudreau used him in all situations, and the center saw his ice time increase by an average of three minutes during the 2012-13 campaign.
By The Numbers
55.1%, Bonino’s faceoff winning percentage during the postseason. He became one of Anaheim’s most reliable centers during the opening round, routinely taking draws at both ends of the ice, and in key moments.
Bonino heads into training camp looking to cement his spot in the top six. His point production should increase with an expanded role and an increase in ice time. If he can remain healthy for the upcoming season, look for Bonino to be one of Anaheim’s leading point producers.
Originally from Hartford, Connecticut, Bonino has spent his summer in the Northeast. An active member of the Twitter community, you can follow him at @NickBonino. For in-season dining, he likes to grab a bite at Mastro’s Ocean Club in Newport Coast.
He Said It
“I get a lot of guys messing with me for this, but every goal I score I celebrate like I’ve never scored before. I honestly just get so happy, and I guess the playoffs sort of amps it up a bit. I didn’t really know where to go. I just kind of skated as fast as I could somewhere, and ended up near the glass. I like that corner, apparently. I’ve done that a couple times this year.” Bonino, on his power-play goal in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals
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