The Rangers have the league’s most underrated bottom-six grinder

New York Rangers center Nick Bonino (12) skates during the third period against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NHL Season has been a blast for the New York Rangers. They have been one of the best teams in the league and are a clear contender for the Stanley Cup. Star players have risen to the occasion and received endless praise, but one underrated contributor has been making a massive impact under the radar. Nick Bonino has stood out from the bunch as an excellent shot-blocking center for the Blueshirts.

Who Is Rangers C Nick Bonino?

Nick Bonino is a 35-year-old hockey player who plays for the New York Rangers. Bonino plays as a forward and specifically plays the center position. He has been a journeyman player as he has previously played with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, and San Jose Sharks.

Nick Bonino is a Block Shot Machine

Bonino’s biggest strength is his ability to block shots. Bonino puts his body on the line to ensure that the shot has no chance of going into the net. This shows the heart that Bonino has for the game. He is an excellent defensive player and has helped contribute to the Rangers’ strong performances.

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This season, Bonino leads the entire league with 53 blocked shots. The craziest part is that in second place, Boone Jenner of the Columbus Blue Jackets has only 35 blocks. He has been a blocking machine and it shows how important he is on this team, especially on the third/fourth line. It is such an underrated trait for hockey players and the fact he is still doing this at the age of 35 is very impressive.

Bonino has been a very dependable player, especially in the fourth line. While the Blake Wheeler experiment has been a disaster, the Bonino experiment has been a more successful endeavor for the Blueshirts. Hopefully, Bonino will continue to play well and have an impact on this team for the rest of the season.