The St. Louis Blues have several decisions to make before next month’s NHL Draft. Chief among them will be whether to keep their pick or trade it and who to draft if they do keep it.
The St. Louis Blues are in an interesting position as they ponder their possibilities for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. St. Louis needs several things heading into 2018-19, so they have decisions to make regarding their only pick in the first round.
The Blues will not be selecting until the 29th pick in the first round. They acquired that via the Winnipeg Jets in the trade for Paul Stastny. The Blues original pick, which would have been the 14th pick, belongs to the Philadelphia Flyers in the Brayden Schenn trade.
So, St. Louis has to decide if they can get a quality player at the 29th pick. Or, they can include that pick in a potential trade to improve their team immediately.
One thing is for sure, no matter who is taken, they are not playing in 2018-19. So far, there seem to be few immediate NHLers in this draft outside of the first handful of picks.
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Bokk is a good player and could develop into an NHL player. He does not get the excitement level raised however because he would definitely be a project.
Bokk is a good point scorer at his current level, but he has very few games played at any elite level. The most games he has ever played was 41 in a season, but that was in Germany’s junior level.
Bokk moved on to Sweden, but is still playing mostly at the junior level. He did get promoted for 15 games with the elite team, but he only managed a goal and two points in that time.
That is not to say Bokk is not skilled. He scored 71 points (34 goals) in those 41 games with Kolner. He also scored five points in five games with Germany in the 2017-18 World Juniors Championship.
NBC’s analysis of the pick had this to say:
"Dominik Bokk, right wing (Vaxjo, Sweden): The 6-foot-1, 179-pound Bokk is German-born playing in Sweden, and showed off his silky smooth hands and playmaking abilities with five points in five games for the Germans during the World Juniors. Bokk has been a very good player going through the Vaxjo system in Sweden over the last season and ended up playing 15 games with the big club at the elite level. Certainly he’s got pretty good size and his overall offense is solid, but where he really excels is in the passing and playmaking game where he could make a really nice impact with St. Louis down the line."
The key phrase there is down the line. Bokk is 18 and has yet to play the equivalent of a full season of professional level hockey. The leap from European junior to professional can be gigantic.
Bokk has plenty of time to develop, but Blues fans are unlikely to be in a mood to wait. If he was to be the team’s selection, the team will have to be ready to make a good free agent push. Blues fans have been some of the most patient in the league, but frustrations are beginning to boil up.
It would be unfair to hold Bokk responsible for something like that, but it could be the reality. While each draft is its own entity, Doug Armstrong set a precedent in 2017.
The acquisition of Schenn and selecting Klim Kostin got a lot of people excited. Bokk would not move the needle in that kind of way.
He might end up being a good NHL player one day. Right now, fans are tired of thinking about one day though.