2018 NHL Draft prospect profile: Dominik Bokk oozes offensive talent
Silky smooth hands will be Bokk’s ticket to an early selection.
Dominik Bokk absolutely destroyed the Swedish SuperElit (U20) league this year. While he only finished eighth in scoring with 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists), he played seven fewer games than the scoring champion during the regular season. He smashed the league with a 1.42 points-per-game average, while the winner, Oliver Olsson, had 1.35 points per game.
Bokk finished second in scoring in the playoffs with 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) in the eight playoff games that the Växjö Lakers played on their way to the silver medal. He also got called up to play 15 games in th SHL, collecting a goal and an assist.
Place of Birth: Schweinfurt, GER
Weight: 179 lbs.
Youth team: ERV Schweinfurt
Team: Växjö Lakers
Bokk is a skillful winger who has some incredible moves in his arsenal of tricks. He has one of the best set of hands in the entire draft, which he constantly uses to beat defenders on his way to the net.
His one-on-one ability is very impressive. Any defenceman forced to open ice to take away the puck is just another prey to fall to one of Bokk's dangles. Even facing multiple opponents, the German forward finds a way to keep the puck out of reach of everyone but himself with soft touches.
He instinctively switches to one hand and a lower stance on his skates to protect possession, and has shown a great agility in the way he is able to twist and turn away from pressure to continue playing keep-away.
Bokk reads the game very quickly, which is why he's able to adjust so well to counter pokechecks and find holes in the defence. In the same way that he can turn defenders inside out, it only takes him a fraction of a second to find a way to slip the puck in the net alone against a goalie.
Bokk isn't the best creator of passing lanes in the draft, but he has shown that he can displace opponents to get the puck to teammates in traffic. He is patient with possession and can attract defenders to free shooting lanes for others, baiting them while continuously shuffling the puck.
But how he really stands out with his passing ability is with great awareness and hands that enable him to pull off plays others could only dream about.
In the above play, he turned a very awkward pass — one that arrived completely behind him — into a perfect scoring chance for his teammate, who found himself in front of the goalie with time to spare. By deflecting the puck between his legs, cupping it with the toe of his blade, Bokk managed to get it up to his forehand to slide a pass to the slot.
There are a few golden moments like this, where the top prospect turns everyone else on the ice into spectators watching to see how the unexpected unfolds. And there is a promise of more consistency in this area as he develops.
Dominik Bokk first goal in SHL. #VäxjöLakers #2018NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/wqVITHFyrd— SHL Prospect GIFS (@SHLProspectGIFS) November 3, 2017
Bokk also possesses a great shot, and can release in a selection of different ways, precise with his one-timers and able to beat goalies with quick wrist shots. The ability to catch and release in a single motion seems natural to him.
In terms of his skating, he doesn't have the best top speed, even if he can fly past certain defenders at the U20 level, but his dominant acceleration coupled with his deadly stickhandling prowess means that he will likely be able to pull off great moves against defencemen of any levels.
The defensive aspect of his game, especially in his end, is a work in progress, but not a glaring weakness. He is an effective forechecker, able to steal the puck from defenders and act as a solid support, assisting defenders when facing an opposition rush, and creating quick counterattacks from the neutral zone.
ISS Hockey: 28
Future Considerations: 46
McKeen’s Hockey: 31
NHL Central Scouting: 12 (EU Skaters)
Hockey Prospect: 21
An important thing to remember when evaluating the German forward is that this was his first season in a more competitive league in the SHL system, one where he still got to play some time in Sweden’s top league.
Bokk chose not to follow the footsteps of countryman Leon Draisaitl and move to Canada at an early age, even if that was the plan from the start. After being drafted in the import draft by the Price Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, Bokk was a bit disappointed as he had hoped to be drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League.
Bokk spoke with his agent, and he got a deal with this year’s Swedish champions, the Växjö Lakers, instead of the Canadian junior club. When Bokk extended his contract during the season with the Lakers, chairman Henrik Evertsson said “It was one of the easiest decisions I have had to make. I am looking forward to following his development [here in Växjö].”
Lakers coach Sam Hallam also praised Bokk’s work ethic in a recent conversation with Eyes On The Prize, pointing to his willingness to work out hard with the A team after the U20 playoffs had finished as reason for even more success next season.
A steep upward curve in his development could reasonably be expected as Bokk will have a season in a more competitive environment under his belt from this year, one that he spent studying what is asked out of him and refining his game.
“Dominik has an hour with our personal trainer a day. He is working hard right now to prepare himself for the upcoming summer when he will be practising full time with us. The draft summers are exciting in many ways, but they are also the cause for a lot of missed practices,” says Mr. Hallam.
“We have to make sure he is in the right phase when the season starts. We have high expectations on Dominik to perform in the SHL at a high level next season.”
It almost looks like Bokk is in Växjö to replace Elias Pettersson, and if that’s the case, coach Hallam will give Bokk plenty of opportunities to succeed and shine.
Bokk could very well be regarded as a steal in the latter half of the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.