Friday, June 22, 2018

Blues trade up to select German-born right wing Bokk

Trade with Maple Leafs had St. Louis move up from No. 29 to 25, 
yield this year's third-round pick (No. 76); Tkachuk taken by Senators

The Blues were expected to be busy as the 2018 NHL Draft unfoled through perhaps player movement or even pick movement.

There was some talk of moving perhaps into the top five but it would take a pretty good haul of picks to do so.

The Blues moved up from No. 29 in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs to No. 25 and giving up their third-round pick (No. 76) in this year's draft at American Airlines Center in Dallas to pick German-born right wing Dominik Bokk of Vaxjo Jr. of the Swedish Jr. League.
(St. Louis Blues photo)
First-round pick Dominik Bokk poses for a photo after donning the Blues
jersey for the first time after being drafted on Friday in Dallas. 

Moving up to grab a specific target is always a sign of good nature for the player, and Bokk feels no differently here.

"I had a meeting with them yesterday," Bokk said of the Blues. "They told me they really want to say my name (at the draft podium). They also told that they might trade up to draft me, so I already knew about this yesterday. It's a great feeling and I'm so happy.

"I didn't know going into the day that I was going to be a Blue, but I had a good feeling when they picked."

Bokk, listed at 6-foot-1, 176 pounds, finished with 14 goals and 27 assists in 35 games with Vaxjo Jr. last season. 

Among the picks believed to be there for the Blues included Bokk and centers Ryan McLeod of Mississauga and Akil Thomas of Niagara. Center Joseph Veleno, who was projected by Central Scouting as the eighth-ranked North American skater, was surprisingly also on the board for the Blues, who chose to go with Bokk.

More on Bokk: 

The Blues were originally supposed to have the 14th pick but that went to the Philadelphia Flyers to complete the trade for center Brayden Schenn at last year's draft.

The 29th pick originally was acquired from the Winnipeg Jets in a trade deadline deal for center Paul Stastny.

As far as local ties, St. Louisan Brady Tkachuk, brother of Calgary Flames' Matthew Tkachuk (the sixth pick in 2016) and son of former Blue Keith Tkachuk, was picked by the Ottawa Senators with the fourth pick.

Tkachuk had eight goals and 31 points in 40 games at Boston University and had three goals and nine points in seven games for USA at the World Junior Championship.

"It’s a huge honor," said Brady Tkachuk, a AAA Blues alumni. "St. Louis has now become a hockey hot spot because of the people that have stayed and created that organization, guys like Al MacInnis, Chris Pronger, Jeff Brown and my dad. There’s others that I’m not naming. There’s people that help out so much."

Tkachuk becomes teammates with former AAA Blue and another St. Louisan Logan Brown, son of Jeff Brown who was selected by the Senators with the 11th pick in 2016.

"You’re going to see a lot more kids from St. Louis coming up and it’s so exciting to see because the market in St. Louis, everybody loves their hockey there," Tkachuk said. "The Blues are doing well and there’s going to be a lot more kids coming up."

Concerning player movement via trades, the only deal consummated was Colorado acquiring goalie Philipp Grubauer and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik from Washington for a second-round pick (No. 47) on Saturday. 

There has been lots of smoke regarding major names potentially moving and they still could, but on Friday, it was a smokeless night as far as transactions were concerned.

Barring any other deals, the Blues will have picks in the second, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds on Saturday, which begins at 10 a.m. (CT).  

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