Dominik Bokk might be the biggest, most long-term project in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He might also have the most room to grow of anyone in the class. His game needs a lot of development, but given time, he could reach a potential that is through the roof. As a player, Bokk is incredibly raw. For a team willing to put in the investment of both time and resources, there is a very good chance that he could pay huge dividends.
After dominating in his home country as a 16-year old, the highly regarded German forward moved to Sweden this past season. Playing with the U20 team in Växjö to start the year, Bokk made his way to the SHL for a 15 game stint at Sweden’s top professional level.
Bokk has offensive potential that matches just about anyone in the draft class. He is a very creative puck-handler and has shown the ability to beat defenders one on one. He plays an up-tempo game and is effective on either wing.
He is a skilled puck mover, possesses smooth hands, and has good offensive instincts. He’s a threat to create a scoring chance whenever he has the puck on his stick in the offensive end. He can both set up teammates and finish the play himself. He works hard when battling for the puck and has a quick stick to allow him to win the loose puck. He’s smart and thinks the game at a high speed. He does a great job of anticipating the movement of both the puck and defenders.
Bokk has the tools to lead his team in all offensive aspects of the game.
As much potential as we see, he is very raw. This was Bokk’s first year playing in a competitive, high-end hockey league. There is very little physicality to his game, despite having a frame that projects to a good size. The level of competition he’s seen through his hockey career has been pretty low and outside of his tryout in the SHL this season, he hasn’t really had to worry about matching up with anyone close to his skill level. You can see that in his game.
He is extremely rough defensively and is going to take time to learn how to play within a structured system. At times he looks either lost or disinterested on the defensive side of the puck. Teams will see his near elite offensive ability, but will have to decide whether or not they can be patient enough to let him round out the rest of his game. Another two seasons in Sweden before a year in the AHL seems like the minimum for Bokk.
He’s going to need to put some mass onto his slight frame - something that will allow him to be add to both his offensive and defensive game.
A talented offensive player that can work on improving his defensive zone play. That sounds like most prospects his age, but with Bokk, he’s probably a year behind the rest simply because it took a lot longer to find a level of competition that compliments his skill.
What the Scouts are Saying
After destroying the German U19 league as a 16 year old, Bokk sought out a more challenging course by moving to Sweden, where he spent his draft year with Vaxjo, at turns dominating in the country’s top junior level, the SuperElit, and struggling to make an impact in 15 games in the SHL with the men’s team. In the middle, he was one of the German team’s leading scorers as they sought to return to the top flight of U20 hockey. All the while, he was making highlight reel plays. Of the players we rank in our first round, Bokk probably has the widest gap between what he is now and what he could become. He is at equal turns a goal scorer and a playmaker. He is very patient on the puck and can be mesmerizing as he slices and jags through lines of defensive coverage to put a scare into the netminder. His first few steps give him the burst that he needs to shake free from coverage and to create. When he carries the puck, he demonstrates extreme patience, forcing defenders and goalies to guess, and often flail helplessly, before he fires off a sharp snap shot, or feeds a teammate on the other side of the zone. - McKeens
“A playmaker with highly offensive skills. Skates very well, possesses impressive hands and is excellent at handling the puck in tight areas. Bokk likes to create offensively and has the natural skills to do so.” - ISS Scout Joakim Eriksson
With his skillset, he is a threat every time he suits up. His skating, according to one scout, is world class. Above-average acceleration with his quick first steps. And with the puck, he exhibits tremendous poise. His stickhandling is tremendous, as is his vision with the puck. He is a natural passer. Even under pressure, he thread passes to teammates. His shot is strong. In fact, he could stand to use it more instead of first looking to make a passing play to a teammate. Working one-on one, he’s got the tools to be successful, even at top speed. If his high-tempo pace and snappy passes prove to be too much for teammates, he’s been known to slam his stick on the ice in frustration, then coast slowly back to the bench. His body language can be poor. If he demands the puck and doesn’t get it, he’s been seen cussing out guilty linemates on the ice. Physically, he can be nonchalant, preferring to try to poke-check the puck instead of stepping into his man. His work rate in his own end and without the puck is not good. Defensively, there are flaws in Bokk’s game. Sometimes, he doesn’t go the extra mile to win races into the defensive zone. He’s brushed up his work ethic, but, at times, he can appear lazy in his responsibilities. A standout, but only when he wants to be. Definitely, a high-risk/high-reward type of prospect - Future Considerations
Where He’ll Be Drafted
Bokk has steadily climbed the rankings as the season has gone on. Now, he has the potential of being lottery pick, but at the same time, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he fell all the way until the end of the first round. When we hear his name on draft day, there’s a strong likelihood that a lot of casual fans will ask “who?”
I suspect Bokk is one of those players that gets drafted in the middle of the first round by a team that has a lot of faith in their organizational patience as well as their development system.
Prediction: 21st overall