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June 28, 2023

NHL Draft: Flyers take promising defenseman Oliver Bonk with 22nd overall pick

The smooth-skating, two-way defenseman from the London Knights could develop into one of the Flyers' top-pairing blueliners.

After making a major splash at seventh overall with the selection of Russian phenom and the draft's mystery man Matvei Michkov, the Flyers used their other first-rounder to hone in our their blueline. 

With pick No. 22 down in Nashville on Wednesday night, GM Danny Brière called the name of smooth-skating defenseman Oliver Bonk, an 18-year old from the OHL's London Knights who, with time, could develop into one of the Flyers' next top-pairing d-men. 

Our thoughts on Bonk from earlier this week:

A two-way defenseman who has the size to win puck battles in his own end and the skating and anticipation to effectively break the puck out on offense, Bonk has the makeup to eventually become a top-pairing d-man who can regularly eat up a ton of minutes from night to night. 

He isn't afraid to jump in on the rush once in a while either. 

Bonk, a right-handed shot, put up 40 points through 67 games and went +17 with the Knights this past season, entering the draft as one of the more well-rounded blueliners available.

He also rocked an immaculate mullet Wednesday night (as you'll see in the clip below) as a tribute to his father, Radek, and yeah, the Bonk headlines and memes will inevitably create themselves – they already have, even

After being hired as the Flyers' president of hockey operations, Keith Jones stressed that developing a high-end defense would be critical to the rebuild ahead, and Bonk will be a great piece to have in moving toward that.

"They're a hardworking team and they're willing to do whatever they can to win," Bonk told Sportsnet after being picked. "I think I'm ready to do that. I'm ready to win some games."

MORE: Flyers take the leap on Matvei Michkov at No. 7

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