Although injuries prevented him from playing more games this season, it was a solid year for Devils forward Nathan Bastian. With a physical style of play, lots of energy, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to win games, Bastian was important throughout the season and in his first NHL playoffs appearance. Let's take a look back at Bastian's year as the countdown to training camp continues on.

Fourth Line Success:

Bastian's impact was more than his points on a scoresheet. He was a strong penalty killer all season long who helped the Devils finish the year as the fourth-best unit in the league with a 82.6% kill rate. Bastian's physical style of play was an advantage throughout the season and in the playoffs, as he helped New Jersey play a grittier game.

The Devils have discussed the importance of having all four lines contribute and Bastian was a key part of the fourth line being nicknamed 'the impact line.' Whether it was bringing energy to the game, scoring a well-timed goal, or tiring out the other team, the fourth line was more than a typical 'fourth line.'

The Devils forward group challenged teams with how many offensive threats they brought every game. No wonder New Jersey had 49 more points last season than the year prior, the biggest improvement in NHL history. The fourth line received praise all season long from their teammates and coaches.

"I want to give credit to the fourth line," Jonas Siegenthaler shared in an interview back in November. "They've been fantastic, they're producing goals, they are producing energy on the ice, it's always good to have such a good fourth line."

Devils head coach Lindy Ruff agreed with the Devils defenseman on the impact Bastian and his line mates had throughout the year.

"The BMW line has been just a strong line down low, great speed going through the neutral zone, physicality, getting to the net," said Ruff. "They're dangerous in a couple of ways, they're dangerous on the rush with the speed they have and they're a hard, physical line down low to control."

Bastian's Impact:

Bastian finished the 2022-23 regular season with six goals and nine assists for 15 points through 43 games. Although he played 17 less games than last year, Bastian was only one point back from tying his career-high in points. He set a new career-high with assists and was five goals back from matching his career-high in tallies set last season

One of the forward's best regular season performances came in a 4-3 overtime win on the road against the Calgary Flames. With a goal and an assists, Bastian's play significantly helped the Devils extended their win streak to six games. After the game, Bastian credited simple but effective play by his line which helped Miles Wood, Michael McLeod and himself all extend their points streaks.

NJD@CGY: Bastian buries a beautiful feed from Hughes

"Things are going pretty well right now," Bastian explained. "(We) stick to the basics, we play such a simple game, keep doing that, and hopefully we get results like we do right now."


Bastian suffered an upper-body injury in late Nov. which kept him out of the lineup until mid-Jan. He played two months before sitting out half of March due to injury. Bastian powered through to return in the regular season and make his first post-season appearance. In his media exit interview following the Devils Second Round loss, Bastian explained his injuries and the impact it had on his season.

"When you're playing every other night there's no real time to give yourself a chance to get better," Bastian explained about his shoulder injury. "Obviously I want to be out there, there's stretches during the season that I'd sit down and talk like 'I need a couple more weeks here, like I can't go every night.' And part of the game I think a lot of guys play through injuries so I was unfortunately one of them."

New Contract:

Heading into the 2023 off-season, Bastian was a free-agent wanting to remain in New Jersey. In fact, he thinks it gave Devils General Manager Video: NJD@CGY: Bastian buries a beautiful feed from Hughes.

Regardless, both sides walked away happy as Bastian inked a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1,350,000. Although a shorter term deal, it allows Bastian to remain with a team he's committed to and has been a part of for the majority of his four seasons in the NHL.

"We've been here (with Devils) we feel like since Day 1 of the upward trajectory moving forward," Bastian explained in his press availability following his contract. "The league doesn't get any easier but we keep getting better. Hopefully things look good for us."

Remember This?

Back in Seattle, where he played 12 games during the 2021-22 season, Bastian and Devils defenseman John Marino explored Pikes Place Market and even participated in a fish toss.

On the Town | FEATURE