EVERY draft has the story of the talented player struck by injury, making him difficult to rank and, in some ways, one of the tougher prospects to place. In 2017 it's Aiden Bonar.

Bonar shaped as an early selection at this year's NAB AFL Draft a long way out before he was hit by a knee reconstruction in the lead-up to Vic Country's under-16 championships in 2015.

He returned from the rehabilitation to play at school level for Haileybury College last year before suffering another torn anterior cruciate ligament. The second surgery was more successful than the first, however, and he came back for the Dandenong Stingrays to play six games at the back end of this season.

The long-kicking 18-year-old, whose mother is from Papua New Guinea and father hails from Scotland, had plenty of recruiters heading out to those games to watch his progress having been underexposed due to injury.

The NAB AFL Draft Combine showed Bonar's elite athleticism, power and strength. He was one of the stars of the week of testing, equaling the all-time standing vertical jump record (89cm) and also coming second in the 20-metre sprint with a time of 2.90 seconds. It highlighted his extreme speed, jump and explosiveness, which comes through in his game.

Bonar appeals not just because of his athletic make-up. He can play as a marking and agile forward or big and strong midfielder who gets the ball and then pulls away from everyone around him. He put that on display in the NAB AFL All Stars game when he had 20 disposals and kicked a goal in perhaps his best outing of the year. He's quick, strong, big, has a good endurance base and has a presence wherever he is.

His injury history is clearly the sticking point, and that's why he was crowded by club doctors and physios at the medical screening during the combine. Each medico will have a slightly different take on his knee and whether he is more susceptible to any further concerns or if he has the same risk level as any other prospect.  

Bonar has a unique set of skills and traits, which makes it difficult to compare him to many at the top level. With his power and strength, however, and ability to play in two parts of the ground, there are some similarities to new Bomber Jake Stringer.

His performances at the Combine and late in the year have rocketed Bonar into first-round calculations. It would be a surprise to see him still on the board into the 20s now, and there are also whispers he could sneak into the first dozen.  

It will still be something of a punt to use an early pick on Bonar, but he's one who could really pay off. He's one of the most intriguing players in the pool but the mystery lies in his talent: who has seen enough to grab him and back him in?