ST. LOUIS -- Dominik Bokk is banking on another season playing in Europe better equipping him for a future in the NHL.
The 19-year-old forward prospect, selected by the St. Louis Blues in the first round (No. 25) of the 2018 NHL Draft, had 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 47 games with Vaxjo of the Swedish Hockey League last season and three points (two goals, one assist) in six playoff games. Bokk and the Blues believe one more season in the SHL will polish his game enough for him to move to North America in 2020-21.
"I really like it there," Bokk, who will play for Rogle BK, said during Blues development camp in June. "I feel really comfortable [in Sweden] with the hockey. I think for me, it's better to stay there. It's a great league for me. I learned a lot of things and I think I can learn a lot more there."
Video: Bokk shines at Prospect Camp
Bokk (6-foot-2, 181 pounds) likely would be playing his second season in juniors if he were in North America, but St. Louis feels comfortable with his surroundings in Sweden, and the decision to have him remain there this season.
"Bokk is in a good situation," Blues director of player development and pro scout Tim Taylor said. "It's a good environment. It's one that he's comfortable with. He played in it last year and it's a very comparable league to the [American Hockey League]. It's not quite the AHL, but it's better than playing junior hockey. He's in that elite league.
"We're getting him closer at that young age, so it's a real good situation for him. We try to get them in situations where they're going to be productive, have good growth in their game, but at the same time, we challenge you enough that it's another step toward the ultimate goal, which is the NHL. Our expectation is to play one more year and then we'll bring him over. Let him get to a little more towards a man's strength."
Bokk said he's prepared for the challenge.
"Last year was a good year and I think I learned a lot of things," said the native of Schweinfurt, Germany. "It was a great experience. ... It was a pro league. It was only men and a couple younger guys like me. It was a little hard to start. I had to get used to that, but I had good teammates. They helped me a lot.
"I need to get stronger in my skates, to be ready for the harder battles in the NHL. That's the most important thing for me. That's my goal, to improve even more, get ready to play here."
Listen: New episode of NHL Draft Class presented by adidas