A solid top-four defenseman with power play responsibilities.
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June 2022 – In his rookie pro season, the 21-year-old played eight games in the NHL where he had an assist and averaged 14:46 of ice time. In the AHL, he played 58 games with two goals and seven assists. The lack of production might be a small worry for some, but he’s continued to show progression in his overall game and should get an extended look in Ottawa in 2022-23. Grant Campbell
October 2020 – Bernard-Docker’s likely final season at the University of North Dakota will coincide with new Senator Jake Sanderson. The relationship could develop on a pairing that could end up foreshadowing a future Senators pair. There is obviously no guarantee that they play together but the possibility will be there. Bernard-Docker should step into the NHL and be a capable defensive blueliner who can move a puck up ice. There is a lot of hope for the UND rearguard and he remains one of the more underappreciated prospects in the Senators system. Tony Ferrari
April 2020 – Bernard-Docker has decided to stay in school for another year at the University of North Dakota. This was a decision that was expected for the most part as this will still allow the Senators prospect to develop another year in the NCAA and then join the Senators for a few games at the end of the year, burning a year of his entry-level contract in the process. This seems like the ideal situation for both Bernard-Docker and the Senators who will likely already have a great deal of youth on the squad to start the 2020-21 season. Tony Ferrari
March 2020 – Jacob Bernard-Docker’s season has come to a premature end as the rise of the COVID-19 virus has canceled the remainder of the NCAA hockey schedule. In his second season with the University of North Dakota, Bernard-Docker was a key member of one of the best teams in school history. He was their defensive pillar and was an offensive contributor, collecting 25 points in 32 games and six in his final seven games. I expect him to play at least one more year in the NCAA but could join the Senators after his junior season ends next spring for a short stint with the club at the end of next season. His fantasy value isn’t quite as high as his real-life value as he plays a solid two-way game but leans towards the defensive game a bit more. His value at the NHL level will depend on powerplay time and with Brannstrom and Chabot likely being the Senators powerplay options for the foreseeable future, Bernard-Docker will have a limited ceiling offensively and could wind up being a ~30 point blue liner with little-to-no powerplay time if all works out. Tony Ferrari
January 2020 – Jacob Bernard-Docker looks good with the gold medal hanging around his neck and he certainly earned it. Bernard-Docker was tasked with being the Canadian’s top shut down defenseman, paired with Kevin Bahl early in the tournament. With a tough start for the pair, and Canada as a whole, they were separated and Bernard-Docker was the one that stayed elevated in the lineup. Playing with Bowen Byram or Jared McIssac for the remainder of the tournament, Bernard-Docker excelled and regained his defensive proficiency. Offensively, the University of North Dakota defenders’ only point was a goal against Slovakia in the quarter-finals but his presence was felt with his defensive play and physicality.
Overall, Bernard-Docker has to be happy with his tournament. Even though he didn’t put up great offensive numbers, he was able to take care of business in his own end, generally against the other team’s top talent. He isn’t a flashy player but he projects to be a solid defensive player who can move the puck out of his zone efficiently. Bernard-Docker still has time to grow in the NCAA and likely won’t be rushed into the Senator’s lineup. Expect him to return to the University of North Dakota for his junior season next year but he could be ready to join the Senators after that. Tony Ferrari
December 2019 – Bernard-Docker has made Canada’s World Junior team and looks as if he will be playing a shutdown role on a pairing with Kevin Bahl. Bernard-Docker is the more offensively inclined of the two players and should benefit from being the primary puck-mover on the back end when they are on the ice. A good performance at the World Juniors could boost an already promising season for the University of North Dakota defender. Tony Ferrari
October 2019 – Bernard-Docker has been hot out of the gate. Playing top-pair minutes for the University of North Dakota and excelling in the role is exactly what the Senators had hoped for with their 2018 first-round pick. In his first game, he racked up six shots on goal and helped limit Canisius to just 11 shots total on the game. He played well defensively, albeit against a weak opponent. In the second game of a back-to-back, again against Canisius, he put up four assists and had another solid defensive performance. Bernard-Docker is on track to have another good season in the NCAA, ready to take on a leadership role with the University of North Dakota. Tony Ferrari
March 2019 – Bernard-Docker has had an excellent Freshman year at the University of North Dakota. The slick, puck-moving defenceman has put up an impressive .47 points-per-game average. He has a reliable, steadying presence on the blue line. While not possessing a flashy style, his mature play combined with his right-handed shot will make him an attractive piece for Ottawa’s top four. He will most likely play another year in the NCAA before being signed by the Senators a year from now. Jordan Deshane
June 2018 – With their second pick in the first round, the Senators raised a few eyebrows by selecting defenseman Jacob Bernard Docker. Largely projected as a mid to late second round pick, Ottawa saw fit to take him with the 26th overall selection. Bernard-Docker competed for the Okotoks Oilers of the Albert Junior Hockey League and was inarguably the best blue liner in the league. I say arguably because he won the AJHL’s Most Outstanding Defenseman award. In fact he is the second consecutive winner of the award to be a first round pick after Cale Makar went to Colorado in 2017. Bernard-Docker finished his draft year ranked fourth in the league among defensemen in scoring with 41 points in 49 regular season contests and his point per game average of 0.84 was also fourth best. He was tops in the goal scoring department as his 20 led all AJHL defenders, six more than his next closest competition. Come playoff time he turned it up a notch by producing seven goals and seven assists in 15 playoff games as Okotoks marched to the final but ultimately lost to the Spruce Grove Saints. He finished fourth in playoff scoring, first among d-men, and was tied for third in goals. Bernard-Docker isn’t the biggest guy and, like a lot of young defenders, still has some work to do in his own end as well as building up his strength. That’s why the college route is a good option for him, he’ll suit up for the University of North Dakota in the fall, but there is a whole lot to like about him. He’s an excellent skater with a good top gear and quick feet to go along with a hammer of a slapshot and a quick shot release. Not one shy about jumping up in the play, Bernard-Docker is equally adept at hauling the puck up the ice to lead an attack or playing the late man in. If things go south quickly in the nation’s capital as a lot of people expect them too, Senators fans can always turn their attention south of the border where Bernard-Docker and Ottawa second round pick Jonny Tychonick with patrol the blue line for the University of North Dakota. Brad Phillips