Prospects News & Rumors: Bokk, Lapierre, Verbeek & More

The Carolina Hurricanes have decided to loan a highly touted German prospect to the Deutsche Eishockey Liga for the start of the season. The Montreal Canadiens loaned prospect Hayden Verbeek to the Czech Extraliga and an intriguing 2020 NHL Draft prospect shines in the QMJHL preseason.

Hurricanes’ Bokk Heads Home To Germany

Prospect Dominik Bokk is part of a new wave of young talented German players to make their way to the NHL. Drafted 25th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Bokk found his way to the Hurricanes via the trade that sent Justin Faulk to the St. Louis Blues. The talented winger spent last season with Rögle BK in the Swedish Hockey League where he amassed 11 goals and 17 points in 45 games.

Bokk is heading home to Germany for the start of the DEL 2020-21 season after the Hurricanes loaned him to the Krefeld Pinguine. He spent much of his young career playing with Kölner EC, 45 minutes down the road in Cologne. He has yet to make his debut in North America but could be expected to return to the team when training camp opens in December.

Canadiens Loan Verbeek To Extraliga

The Canadiens announced on Saturday that they have loaned prospect Hayden Verbeek to Banska Bystrica HC’05 in the Czech Extraliga. Originally undrafted, Verbeek signed with the Habs in March of 2018 after impressing in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He split the 2019-20 season playing for the Laval Rocket in the American Hockey League, where he posted zero points in six games, and the Adirondack Thunder in the ECHL where he amassed 19 points in 21 games played.

He’s recovering from wrist surgery which THW’s Blain Potvin covered in a recent article. He’ll need to impress on loan and once he returns to Montreal in December to earn his NHL debut during the 2020-21 season. His entry-level contract expires at the end of the upcoming season.

Lapierre Shines in QMJHL Preseason

Hendrix Lapierre is an enigma heading into the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Multiple concussions limited him to just 19 games in the 2019-20 QMJHL season. However, when he did play, he looked like a first-round talent, which has made him difficult to rank. Some still have him as high as the top 15, while others have him falling out of the first round completely.

Hendrix Lapierre Chicoutimi Saguenéens
Chicoutimi Saguenéens player Hendrix Lapierre (Credit: André Emond)

Nonetheless, the short time before the NHL Entry Draft in October will be valuable for Lapierre to rebuild his draft stock and show that the injuries are behind him. Playing for the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, he is paired with fellow 2020 prospect Dawson Mercer. The two have gelled nicely since the preseason started earlier this month.

Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide

Lapierre leads the league in scoring with three goals and seven points in three games, while Dawson Mercer has amassed two goals and four assists in two games. The pair are an early favorite to be the most exciting duo in the league heading into the 2020-21 season. Both will be hoping to hear their names called during the first round of the draft on Oct 6.

Prospect of the Day – Lukas Cormier

With today’s prospect, we are staying in the QMJHL with Charlottetown Islanders defenseman Lukas Cormier. NHL Central Scouting has Cormier ranked 32nd among North American skaters. In his final rankings, THW’s Larry Fisher ranked him 24th among all players.

It was an impressive sophomore season in the QMJHL for Cormier, as he equaled his point total from his rookie season in 19 fewer games. During the shortened 2019-20 season, he amassed six goals and 36 points in 44 games; he led all Charlottetown defensemen in points and ranked fifth in team scoring.

Cormier’s skating and mobility are standout skills that make him a projected first-round talent. He’s slightly undersized at 5-foot-10, but he fits the mold of the modern-day blueliner with exceptional speed and puck-moving ability. He’s an offensive defenseman by trade but has proven to be capable in his own zone, often playing on the Islanders’ top pairing.

Lukas Cormier Charlottetown Islanders
Lukas Cormier of the Charlottetown Islanders (Charlottetown Islanders)

THW’s own Matthew Zator had this to say about Cormier and where his skillset will land him in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft:

After Cormier’s breakout rookie season, scouts were put on alert. Now that he’s followed it up with another solid campaign, they are definitely going to have him high on their lists when the draft comes around. His mobility and two-way game are perfect for the NHL right now, making him the perfect choice for teams looking for speed on the backend. Look for him to go late in the first round or early in the second round.

Cormier projects well to be an impact player at the next level. He’s the prototypical modern-day defenceman which should see him get selected rather early on Oct. 6. He’ll be a consistent point producer in the NHL and should slot into a team’s top four after a few more years of development.

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