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Taken by the Swift Current Broncos in the 2015 WHL Draft, Jacob Bernard-Docker opted to remain in the AJHL to maintain his NCAA Eligibility. The Canmore, Alberta native is committed to the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks for next season. Playing for the Okotoks Oilers, Bernard-Docker has had a fantastic season that saw him named both the AJHL Most Outstanding Defenceman and the CJHL Defenceman of the year. He scored 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points in 49 games for the Oilers. Bernard-Docker also added seven goals and seven assists for 14 points in 15 playoff games.
Bernard-Docker represented his country, playing for Team Canada West at the World Junior A Hockey Championships. He put up one goal and two assists for three points in the five-game tournament. Bernard-Docker was also named to the CJHL Top Prospects game.
Jacob Bernard-Docker Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Right
Born June 30th, 2000 — Canmore, Alberta
Height 6’1″ — Weight 181 lbs [185 cm/82 kg]
Bernard-Docker is an outstanding skater. He has very good speed in both directions. His first step and his acceleration are outstanding as he reaches that top speed in just a few strides. The stride itself is extremely smooth. He can appear to be gliding above the ice. Bernard-Docker also generates the power to fight through checks and be strong on the pucks. His agility and edgework are strong. He changes directions quickly and does this both going forward and backward. Bernard-Docker makes sharp, smooth pivots. He transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. The strong-skating ability is the key to every part of Bernard-Docker’s game. It is this foundation that allows him to be an excellent two-way defenceman.
Bernard-Docker is very good offensively. He has an absolute cannon of a slap shot, as well as an outstanding one-timer. His shot is feared throughout the AJHL, and despite the fact that teams would often shade his way to take it away on the power play, he was still very effective. He uses his excellent agility to walk the line and make sure he can get it on net. He also understands when to keep it low to give his teammates an opportunity to get tip-ins and rebounds. Bernard-Docker also has a very good wrist shot and a quick release. He can sneak down from the point and let that shot go from the top of the face-off circle. He also lets it go when other teams cover him hard at the point.
Bernard-Docker is more of a trigger-man than a true power-play quarterback. He does not have the puck on his stick for long at the point, preferring to move it quickly, passing quickly if no shot is available. He is smart with his passes and finds the open man to keep things moving. However, Bernard-Docker is not the type of defenceman who makes dangerous passes through seams, or through tight areas to set up a teammate. Instead, he simply finds the open man on the perimeter.
Bernard-Docker is willing to join the rush or pinch at the blueline. At the AJHL level, his superb skating allows him to do this and still recover defensively. However, as he moves up to the NCAA and eventually the pro ranks, he will need to pick his spots better.
Bernard-Docker is strong against the rush. His skating allows him to maintain excellent gap control. He is very tough to beat in one-on-one situations and uses an excellent stick to poke check opponents. Bernard-Docker could be more physical, especially in battles on the boards and in front of the net. If he can get stronger, this may be an area that improves as a result. He also needs to be better at maintaining his position and staying with his man when he is away from the puck. He has a tendency to puck-watch a little bit and can lose his man.
Projection and Comparison
Bernard-Docker will need time to develop, especially with the jump from the AJHL to the pros. Expect to see him spend a couple of seasons at North Dakota before being ready for the pro game. As he faces higher competition and gets better coaching, his defensive game should improve. It is sometimes tough for a player who doesn’t face top competition to improve defensively as he is not challenged by strong opponents game in and game out. Bernard-Docker can also improve his strength. His game is reminiscent of Jeff Petry but this is a style comparison only and not one based on skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Bernard-Docker that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
— CJHL (@cjhlhockey) May 14, 2018