Each of the St. Louis Blues’ 2018 Draft Selections will be participating at Prospect Camp, June 26th – 29th.
In this article, I’ll compile some information on each of the players drafted in hopes to give fans a better experience at prospect camp. I’m no expert in the prospects department, but upon my research, I’d like to share my findings and/or simply update some of the fans that haven’t been in the loop. Life can be busy, so if you missed out on the draft, I hope this is helpful!
The St. Louis Blues ended up with 1 goaltender, 2 defensemen, and 3 forwards. Let’s get started.
(Photo: Steffen Thaut)
- 1st round, 25th selection
Dominik is a right-handed winger. Bokk was born in Schweinfurt, Deutschland. He just turned 18 years old in February. He currently stands 6’1″ & weighs 176 lbs. Long story short, this guy brings speed, puck-handling skill, and good hockey sense.
He’s not just some Average Joe. He’s a very confident player. Dominik is projected to be a top-6 winger in his NHL career. Like most players his age, he’ll need to fill out, put some weight on, and get stronger, but the natural talent is already there.
The St. Louis Blues will need to focus on rounding out his game by improving his board battling. This is a common learning curve to a growing player. This is not much of a concern as all players must conform to playing bigger, stronger opponents.
I’m writing this on Monday the 25th. The coverage on Bokk that is already available to you is more than enough. I’ve chosen to cite you a few resources rather than simply double-covering this guy. So, give the following links a click and watch the video. You’ll be well informed. I’ve also linked the author’s twitter handles and you should certainly follow these individuals if you’re a Blues fan.
Jim Thomas of St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently wrote: Blues trade up, take German forward Dominik Bokk in first round. If you haven’t already, I recommend this read for some good insight on Bokk, and a recap of the particular selection.
Also, an in-depth read, 2018 NHL Entry Draft: Wilkommen, Dominik Bokk, from St. Louis Game Time will have you schooled on the new 1st round pick. I much appreciated this piece as @TomorrowsBlues compiled scouting reports. Very informative.
“Bokk is a pure sniper that has excellent skating and dekeing abilities that allow for him to create his own scoring chances.” –The Chirp
Bokk’s (NHL.com Player Bio)
Crossbar Consulting published the following video on March 4th, 2018.
(Photo Credit: Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports)
- 2nd round, 45th selection
Scott is a left-handed defenseman. Perunovich was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA. He’ll be 21 years of age in August. He currently stands 5’9″ & weighs 172 lbs.
The 2018 Draft saw a surge in undersized, quick defensemen. A record 14 defensemen were drafted in the first round in 2018, many of them undersized, as the league is shifting towards a faster, more agile game. It’s possible that, because of his size, he was overlooked in previous years.
Perunovich’s (NHL.com Player Bio)
He’s a fantastic skater though and is very offensive-minded. Perunovich is a good puck moving defenseman that can make you pay when contributing on the rush. He’s known for his playmaking in the offensive zone.
- NCAA (Championship) All-Tournament Team
- NCAA (Championship) Winner
- NCAA (NCHC) All-Rookie Team
- NCAA (NCHC) Best Offensive Defenseman
- NCAA (NCHC) First All-Star Team
- NCAA (NCHC) Rookie of the Year
- NCAA (West) First All-American Team
- NCAA Top Collegiate Rookie (Tim Taylor Award)
- U20 WJC Bronze Medal
“He’s got high up side, but a lot to prove” – Chris Moran
The St. Louis Blues will need to focus on his defensive positioning due to the fact that his being undersized has caused problems matching up with larger players. Everyone has some work to do, and that’s where Scott seems to be.
At 5’9, I have to question whether Scott’s frame will fill out enough for him to be successful at the NHL level, but what it is really going to come down to is whether he can learn to position himself defensively to match up with larger opponents. This is another common learning curve for the growing, offensive-minded defenseman.
There’s no denying his offensive talent. He’s a quick player that can move the puck responsibly and make things happen. He’s also a guy that can create plays in the offensive zone, and that’s more than half of what you ask for in a top-4 pairing defenseman in today’s league. Some fine tuning is in order, but there’s lots of potential.
Well, Scott finally heard his name called at the 2018 Draft. He’s ready for the AHL, and I would expect him on the San Antonio Rampage roster this coming season. At least that’s where he belongs, but he’ll also be eligible for the ECHL so we may see him in Tulsa. Personally, I wouldn’t expect that
Alec Bochner interviews University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men’s hockey players Jared Thomas and Scott Perunovich after winning the NCAA I championship. The following video was published on April 20th, 2018.
Photo Credit: David Zammit / SC Broncos)
- 4th round, 107th selection
Joel is a young goaltender. Hofer was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He’ll be 18 years old soon (July 30th). He stands 6’3″, weighs 160 lbs, and catches left.
“He’s quick with his glove. Able to stretch his whole frame out. He corrals shots to the chest well, not a lot of rebounds. He also sees the puck really well. Definitely a promising young man, and someone that will give a lot of hope to the STL Blues roster in the future.” – Sarah George (GirlBehindtheGlass)
I’m excited to follow this youngster’s development. He’s a thin guy, really needs to grow into his frame, but what do you expect? This kid isn’t even 18 years old yet, but he’s 6’3″. Joel has plenty of time to grow and develop and surely won’t be rushed. It must be nice for him, having been drafted and rewarded for his hard work. Now, just focus and enjoy the journey. Keep doing what you do, kid. Soak it all in. Go get better with experience.
Hofer’s (NHL.com Player Bio)
I’m not going to pretend to be some goalie prospect expert, but what I will do is leave you with a few pages you should tap into.
Swift Current Online published: Hofer goes from unknown to the NHL draft today, and it’s a good read. A great story. A kid that proved himself through hard work and perseverance. A real student of the game that has been sponging up other netminders’ advice. Joel seems to be a humble athlete with a go-getter attitude.
The following video is courtesy of the Western Hockey League Youtube Channel. Published June 22nd, 2018.
On to the next one…
(Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete / Associated Press)
- 5th round, 138th selection
Hugh is a left-handed forward. I’ve seen him listed as a center or a winger. McGing was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He’s turning 20 years old on July 11th. He currently stands 5’8″ & weighs 167 lbs.
He had 70 points in a total of 114 USHL games for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders from 2014 to 2016. Then, 52 points in a total of 75 NCHC games for the Western Michigan University Broncos from 2016 to 2018. He has experience playing on a team (Cedar Rapids) with fellow St. Louis Blues prospect, Mitch Reinke. The 2015-16 season, McGing played all 60 games, totaled 52 points (23 goals & 28 assists) and held a (+32) rating. In the following 5 playoff games, McGing had 2 helpers.
For the record, Mitch Reinke that year = 5G,25A,30P, 56GP. By the way, Who is Mitch Reinke?<—- Click here!
Now, back to McGing.
“McGing is extremely driven. Anyone who plays with a broken hand with only pain meds and prayers is tougher than nails. He’s got a pair of smooth hands that can fake out the opposing D. He’s very spacially aware of where his teammates are, and where the puck is. Hockey sense is something he has in spades. If you want a guy who is going to put himself in the exact right place at the right time or will create a space to work in to make something happen, that’s McGing. Very good playmaker.” – Sarah George (GirlBehindtheGlass)
- Rob Hodge Co-Most Valuable Player (Shared with teammate, Dawson DiPietro)
- NCHC All-Academic Team
- NCHC Scholar-Athlete
McGing’s (NHL.com Player Bio)
I found Jim McGing’s YouTube Channel (Hugh has a brother named James, so I assume it’s him.) Anyway, there are quite a few clips of Hugh on that channel from years past. So, if you’re interested in getting a better idea of what kind of player he is, be sure to click and give it a gander. Here is one particular video of McGing drawing a penalty on a breakaway, then scoring with a game-winning penalty shot. I will warn you that the videos are not the best of quality, but it is what it is.
(Photo Credit: Kathy Kocur)
- 6th round, 169th selection
Mathias is a right-handed forward. I’ve also seen him listed as a center or a winger. Laferriere was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He’ll be turning 18 years of age on the 27th of June. He currently stands 6’1″ & weighs 175 lbs. I’d have to say I’m quite impressed with this one’s size at such a young age. He has great offensive instincts. Just looking at his stats, you can tell he involves his teammates. And if you watch the video below, you’ll notice he likes to set up around the circle. He’s got a decent one-timer and I’m a fan of a particular pass he makes at 2:03. It doesn’t result in a goal, but it easily could have. It’s those deflectable passes that really pay off when the right guy is there to capitalize.
He’s got a total of 17 goals & 35 assists for 52 points in 93 games played in the QMJHL. He was ranked 130th among North American skaters.
Laferriere’s (NHL.com Player Bio)
For the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles:
- 12G, 29A, 41P, 30GP (Playoffs: 1A, 1GP)
- 5G, 6A, 11P, 10GP
HockeyProspectTV published the following video on May 23rd, 2016.
(Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)
- 7th round, 200th selection
Tyler is a left-handed defenseman. Tucker was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. He just turned 18 years old in March. He currently stands 6’1″ & weighs 203 lbs. He was drafted into the OHL by the Barrie Colts in 2016 (14th Overall). He has scored 4 goals and registered 33 assists in his 121 total games played in the OHL. He averaged a (+15) in that time period. He has 3 goals and 3 assists in 12 OHL Playoff contests. Tyler is ranked 171 among North American skaters.
Tucker’s (NHL.com Player Bio)
I’m happy to see the Blues grab a big strong kid that can possibly bring some physicality. With Perunovich being a smaller, more agile defenseman, it really balances things out bringing a big guy into the mix as well.
— Tyler Tucker (@TylerTukr19) June 23, 2018
Welcome to St. Louis, Tyler Tucker. Looking forward to following the big guy’s development…
…and seeing hits like this one.
What a hit!!! Tyler Tucker of the Barrie Colts absolutely levels Ryan Merkley with a huge open ice hit last weekend at the Barrie Molson Centre. Why would anyone cut into the middle of the ice with @TylerTukr19 out there?!?! #GoodnightMerkley #TuckerBomb pic.twitter.com/yuKtU0ZLg8
— Ryan McArthur (@ryanpmcarthur) March 4, 2018
Thanks for reading, Blues fans. That’s all I’ve got. Enjoy Prospect Camp if you’re able to make an appearance.