Bavaria’s best

Herald file photo.

Prince Albert Raiders pick “top-six guy” Dominik Bokk of Germany in 2017 CHL Import Draft

For the first time in five years the Prince Albert Raiders have their sights on a promising German goal-scorer.

The Raiders selected 17-year-old forward Dominik Bokk ninth overall in the 2017 CHL Import Draft on Wednesday.

The six-foot-one, 161-pound Bavaria product finished last year as the No. 4 scorer in the German junior hockey league with 34 goals and 37 assists in 41 games for the Kolner EC under-19 team. He also racked up five goals and two assists in four playoff games.

“We’re very excited to draft Dominik,” Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt said in a press release.

“He’s considered to be the top talent to come out of Germany since Leon Draisaitl. He has a sniper’s mentality that can also make plays through traffic and is extremely strong on his skates. He has the potential to be a high-end pick in next summer’s NHL Entry Draft.”

Bokk also has experience on the world stage, playing for his national team at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation U18 World Championship Division I Group A tournament in April. Bokk led the tournament with seven goals in five games and his 10 points placed him in second place among scorers.

“Just from our reports we got from Dominik, he’s one of the best 2000-born players in Europe and expected to be high NHL pick. He’s a guy that’s got good size, he skates, he’s put up big numbers and for us it was a guy that we targeted early on in the process,” Raiders director of player personnel Ron Gunville said.

“If he was to report to us he’d be a top-six guy for sure.”

The Raiders have had success in recent years when it comes to the import draft. Bokk is the first German to come to PA since Leon Draisaitl in 2012 and in the intervening years the Raiders selected Czech defenceman Vojtech Budik and forward Simon Stransky. Draisaitl and Budik have since been drafted by the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres respectively and Stransky served as one of PA’s top scorers.

Gunville said a lot of work goes into identifying and recruiting players from Europe.

“We’ve got a little bit of a scouting network, as well as you get calls from agents and you make calls to agents,” Gunville said of the scouting process.

“It’s a case of you have to do your homework. It’s lots of phone calls, lots of emails to agents, it’s a long process. It’s two months to draft one player. It’s a long process, that’s for sure.”