Radek Bonk

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Jim MacDonald, Sep 30, 2018.

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  1. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    Hey guys/gals

    Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

    Wanted to learn/talk about another guy that started playing a few years before I developed a love for watching puck. Radek Bonk went 3rd overall in the 94 entry draft, and wanted to know your guys/gals thoughts on his career. It looks like the guy underachieved for being a 3rd overall pick, had some size at 6-2 so that had to be attractive to scouts, maybe had like a "serviceable" stretch from 99-00 to 02-03, but for a 3rd overall pick you'd definitely want more than serviceable ya know? No real eye-popping regular season or playoff run. Look forward to your opinions/knowledge! Thanks as always-Jim
     
  2. K Fleur

    K Fleur If You Know You Know

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    Zero goals and only one assist in his first 25 playoff games. A timespan of 5 years.
     
  3. Il Mediano

    Il Mediano Registered User

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    As a Leafs fan, I found him to be highly annoying. Like a softer version of Bobby Holik.
     
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  4. Normand Lacombe

    Normand Lacombe Registered User

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    What made Bonk appealing to scouts was his quick adaption to the North American style of play. Bonk moved to North America from Czechoslovakia in 1993 as a 17 year old. In his first year in N. America in 1993-94, Bonk posted 42 G, 47 A for 87 PTS in the IHL.

    Despite his decent size, Bonk wasn't much of a physical presence from what I remember. I wouldn't characterize Bonk as a bust on the scale of Daigle. Bonk played about 12 years in the NHL and put up more than respectable numbers during the DPE. Bonk led Ottawa in scoring in 1999-2000 and was second in 2001-02. Had Bonk been the 13th overall pick in 1994, he would've been considered a good pick in a weak draft class.
     
  5. skunt

    skunt Registered User

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    I think Bonk would've been regarded better if he had his "serviceable stretch" in a city other than Ottawa. He was disappointing for so long before he came online that I don't think fans were inclined to give him much credit. He was one of those quietly effective types - an unspectacular second line centre. Big guy, not fast, not physical - but good defensively and got his points. In his best year, 2001-02, he was actually 10th in scoring amongst centres.

    When I think of Bonk, two things come to mind:
    1) The Teenager in the IHL: There were a few players who got a lot of credit in their draft years for playing in the IHL against men and ended up disappointing. Bonk, Patrik Stefan, Robert Dome.
    2) The Perception of Fieriness: If you read some of the literature on Alexandre Daigle from 1993, there were comparisons to Jeremy Roenick. Why would Daigle ever be compared to Roenick? Because he got a 10 game suspension for hitting a player from behind in his draft year. This incident convinced scouts that Daigle was "feisty". He never showed much aggression as a pro. Bonk had 208 PIMs in his draft year and that was considered evidence of a mean streak. Obviously that didn't carry over. Teams REALLY wanted power centres in 1994.
     
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  6. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    The Bonk & Hossa tandem cycled the puck like few others in the Dead Puck Era (Forsberg-Kamensky coming to mind as the gold standard).

    He had real chemistry with Hossa. Otherwise he looked like a barely marginal top-9 role player.
     
  7. supsens

    supsens Registered User

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    Hossa carried that guy as far as possible . But his name was fun...Bonk,Bonk!
     
  8. RadimBicanek

    RadimBicanek Registered User

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    Not the fastest, but had good chemistry with Hossa.
     
  9. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

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    He was a big guy who was a high pick. Was a nice player during a short prime but pretty much lackluster/below average for a lot of his career. Not much of a playoff performer.

    Another Chris Gratton more or less.

    Maybe a poor man's Primeau?
     
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  10. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    I remember him getting some major hype going into his NHL draft. Was supposed to be a good offensive guy. That never came to be but he did end up as a very good bottom 6 guy for Ottawa pre-lockout.
     
  11. streitz

    streitz Registered User

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    Never impressed with him but he wasn't terrible. Big, decent play maker, decent defensively, soft.



    Seemed like the prototypical sens player when they were constantly outmuscles by the leafs in the early 2000's.
     
  12. puckpilot

    puckpilot Registered User

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    During his draft year, I remember hearing a story that Bobby Clarke was critical of him playing in the IHL and that he should be playing in juniors instead. Then before a game he says to a reporter or the tv camera. "This one's for Bobby Clarke." and proceeded to score a hatrick, or was it 4 goals?

    Any way good story, but don't know how true it is.
     
  13. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    their styles were different, but i used to think of bonk and viktor kozlov in the same breath. they both were big guys, at one point rated #1 but fell a bit, high picks on garbage expansion teams, massive massive disappointments early on and took almost exactly the same amount of time to finally get it. both peaked at exactly 70 points centering a much much better winger than him, who happened to be born in the same nation-state as him, and otherwise were basically dainius zubrus (though zubrus did have his own less dramatic career year with ovechkin).

    bonk had a good defensive game, which kozlov was next to useless at, but didn't have the pure talent that kozlov had, not that it did him any good most of the time. but for that kind of prospect, i have both in the tier of disappointing big forward prospects above wickenheiser and stefan, but below primeau. gratton is a good comp too. i'd put gratton in that between wickenheiser/stefan and primeau tier; he, kozlov, and bonk all had good staying power. part of me wants to put olli jokinen in primeau's tier; it feels like that goes against conventional wisdom, but then conventional wisdom is far too kind to primeau, imo.
     
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  14. frontsfan2005

    frontsfan2005 Registered User

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    Good defensive centre, and had a nice offensive stretch from 1999-2003 (306 GP, 93G, 243 PTS). He had two good playoff runs with the Senators in 2002 (10 pts in 12 games) and 2003 (11 pts in 18 games).

    Led Ottawa in team scoring in 1999-2000 when Yashin held out (60 pts), and in 01-02, had a career high 70 pts (one behind Alfie for the team lead) as the Sens #1 centre.

    His offense sort of fell off a cliff in 03-04 (42 pts in 66 games, 2 assists in 7 playoff games). After the lockout and playing with MTL and NSH, he never cracked 30 pts before heading to KHL and Czech Republic to finish his playing career.

    As for playoffs, he was invisible early in his career (1 assist in first 25 playoff games, first playoff goal in 27th game). Had 3rd period tying goal in game 7 against NJ in 2003 playoffs.

    Based on his season as a 17 year old with LV in 93-94 (42G-87 PTS), I'm sure Ottawa was thinking they were getting a guy who had the potential of being a 45-50 goal scorer in the NHL in his prime. He peaked at 25 goals. Ottawa could have done worse in the draft (Bonsignore was 4th, Storr 7th, Wiemer 8th for example), but they did miss out on a guy like Ryan Smyth (6th). This wasn't a particularly strong draft at the top, so in hindsight, I'm sure the Senators were happy with what they got.
     
  15. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    very good defensive center in his prime who was often playing one line higher in the lineup than his skill level merited. Big, solid, but not really physical. Not a good playoff performer. Kinda emblematic of the "gutless" Sens that the leafs beat again and again. I had no idea he had one point in 25 playoff games to start his career. By 1999, he had 1 in 16. Bad, but could be an anomaly, and he was just a checker with a career high of 35 points. But two years later, he still had no more points in eight more games, despite maturing into a 60-point center in those seasons. That's unforgivable.
     
  16. blood gin

    blood gin Registered User

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    I remember him in that NHL 2 on 2 open ice challenge arcade video game. First team you'd play was Ottawa and his name was just goofy. "Passes it to BONK"
     
  17. Jim MacDonald

    Jim MacDonald Registered User

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    Kinda cool/interesting to learn he wasn't porous in his own zone and clicked with Hossa. Very interesting....
     
  18. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    i think with bonk, it was a case of jacques martin bringing him along slowly to teach him his own side of the ice, with the idea that he would turn into a bobby holik type.
     
  19. cheveldae

    cheveldae Registered User

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    I know the IHL was a rough league, but why did he have so many PIMs? He wasn't an aggressive guy, so was it mostly just minors that he took? 207 PIMs in one year is a lot, especially seeing he doesn't seem like the type of guy to have amounted that total in his entire career.
     

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