Nick Boka

Hometown:

Plymouth Michigan

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1997-09-08

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

6th round (171st overall), 2015

Weight:

196 lbs.

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History
 
2011-12: Nick Boka played for the Compuware bantam AAA team in Michigan and was invited to the USA Hockey Select 15 Player Development Camp in Rochester, New York. In July 2012 he committed to playing college hockey at Michigan State in 2015-16. 
 
2012-13: Boka skated for the Compuware U16 team. He scored 12 goal with 18 assists and 70 penalty minutes in 50 games. Boka received an invitation to the USA Hockey National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp in the spring and was offered a spot in the program for the 2013-14 season. He was selected by Sarnia in the sixth round (103rd overall) in the 2013 OHL Priority Draft. 
 
2013-14: Boka joined the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan — skating for the program’s U17 team — and was an assistant captain for the USA U17 team at the 2014 World Hockey Challenge. In 52 games for the NTDP squad he scored 6 goals with 13 assists and 140 penalty minutes. Boka scored 2 goals with 1 assist and 14 penalty minutes in six games for the USA at the WHC. The USA captured a gold medal, defeating Canada Pacific, 4-0, in the championship game. 
 
2014-15: Boka returned to Ann Arbor for his second season with the NTDP and played for the gold medal-winning USA U18 team at the 2015 World Junior Championship in Switzerland. In 54 games for the NTDP U18 team he scored 5 goals with 6 assists and 96 penalty minutes. Boka scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +7 with 6 penalty minutes in seven games at the WJC. The USA defeated Finland, 2-1, in overtime in the gold medal game. Boka was ranked 117th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by the Wild in the sixth round (171st overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

2015-16: Boka was one of five freshman to play a key role for the University of Michigan as the Wolverines reached the NCAA Midwest Region championship game. One of three defensemen to skate in all 38 games along with freshman Joseph Cecconi (DAL) and fellow Wild prospect junior Nolan DeJong, Boka had 10 assists and was +17 with 19 penalty minutes. Michigan finished second in the Big 10 to Minnesota after a late season loss to the Gophers and back-to-back losses to Ohio State but turned things around in the conference tournament, defeating Minnesota, 5-3, in the championship game. The Wolverines defeated Notre Dame, 3-2 in overtime, in the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals before falling to eventual national champion North Dakota, 5-2, in the regional final. 

Talent Analysis

Nick Boka is a solid, defense-first player who possesses enough skill to make good passes. His awareness, aggression and poise are all strengths, though his offensive tools are somewhat limited.

Future

Boka moved from one part of Ann Arbor to another in 2015-16, skating for the University of Michigan as a freshman after two seasons with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. A prominent presence on the blue line for the Wolverines despite his youth, Boka has the make up to be the latest in a string of top defensemen who have come through the Michigan program.

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