The 2023 first round pick has signed his entry level deal just a few months after the Philadelphia Flyers drafted him.
Oliver Bonk isn’t expected to join the Flyers anytime soon. The team isn’t going to rush him, nor do they need to. His contract is slide-eligible for the next two years that he is likely to spend continuing to develop with the London Knights. He will do that alongside fellow Flyers’ prospect Denver Barkey.
This upcoming year will be his second full season in juniors. The 18-year-old defenseman is coming off a strong year. He collected 10 goals and 40 points in 67 games for London. He was second among Knights’ defensemen in both goals and points. His 30 assists were fifth on the team.
He had a career-high eight game point streak during the season where he posted two goals and 10 assists. Bonk helped London make it to the OHL Final, collecting 11 assists in 21 games. He was fourth in points amongst all OHL defensemen. While he didn’t pick up any points, Bonk was also a part of the Canadian squad that won the gold medal at the 2022 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Bonk had an impressive showing at the Flyers prospect development camp in July. He was strong at finding and controlling the puck while being able to find a way to move the puck forward. His stick is also very active in the defensive zone as he is often able to disrupt the play, as he showed in the clip below.
"“To me he looks like he’s the total package watching him in these drills and stuff.” Nick Schultz, Flyers assistant director of player development said about Bonk. “He enjoys defending. He’s not just one-sided. He’s a big, strong kid, obviously everyone loves that he’s a right shot. I think he’s very competitive and he loves defending and then obviously the side when he has the puck, he looks like he’s got that skill level and that ability to make plays and bring that.”"
Bonk is the first member of the Flyers 2023 draft class to sign his entry-level deal. This move shows that the Flyers already have faith in where Bonk’s development is at. This also allows him to simply focus on playing and continuing to grow. At 176 pounds, Bonk will need to put on some more weight to be able to use his physicality more in the NHL. In fact, it’s something that he began working on this summer. He is only 18, though, so there is plenty of time for him to do that down in juniors.