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Dominik Bokk was the St. Louis Blues’ first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, at 25th overall.
I was hoping that last night would be a sequel to last year’s draft night surprise trade for Brayden Schenn. I camped out with my laptop, tablet and phone all night, watching through the first round, waiting for another miracle to happen.
It didn’t happen.
The first round was mostly quiet. Teams selected in order, except for a pair of position swaps. One of those was the Blues, in fact. They moved up from 29th to 25th (costing them a 3rd round pick additionally) to take RW Dominik Bokk, of Germany.
Bokk was available thanks to multiple teams taking picks considered by most to be a reach at their positions. GM Doug Armstrong said that they (the Blues), had Bokk in their top 15. So, seeing an opportunity, they phoned Toronto to move up to the 25th pick to select Bokk.
Bokk profiles as a speedy, skilled winger with a finishing ability. He played last season for the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League. He’ll play there next season as well, so he’s a few years away from making the NHL club.
He’s a nice addition to the group of prospects the Blues have put together over the past couple years. That group includes Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, Klim Kostin, Ville Husso, Erik Foley, Evan Fitzpatrick, and Alexey Toropchenko. Now, one or more of those may be traded by the time the offseason ends. In fact, I’d say that is very likely. The Blues need to add scoring, and prospects will in all probability be part of any deal. But even so, the prospect list is comforting. It’s nice knowing the Blues have players that will hopefully contribute big things to the team in the future.
That list doesn’t include Tage Thompson and Ivan Barbashev, who played most of last season with the Blues. Nor does it include Samuel Blais, a 6th round pick who played a few games during the regular season after impressing in training camp.
Part of a prospect’s successful transition from minor league hockey to the NHL is the caliber of his line mates. In theory, the better the players are around you, the better you will personally play. That’s why it’s so important for the Blues to add established talent to the team. That will help Thompson and Barbashev continue their development, and with luck and work, will emerge as here-to-stay, and produce, forwards.
Now we wait to see what the rest of the ’18 Draft yields. And after that, Free Agency.