It’s not often that players picked among the top 10 at the NHL draft, then capable of playing in the most prestigious league of the world, come to play in the National League. And instead, next season we will be lucky enough to admire Mikkel Bødker in our latitudes. The latter in fact, will be one of the import players of Hockey Club Lugano. Let’s be clear, the “name” is not always a guarantee of success. On paper, however, the Bianconeri made a great deal.

Let’s get to know more about the new 30 years old forward that will be at Serge Pelletier’s disposal.

Name: Mikkel

Surname: Bødker

Nation: DEN

Date of Birth: 16 dicembre 1989

Position: LW / RW

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CAREER

Mikkel Bødker was born on December 16th, 1989, in Brøndby, Denmark. He was brought up in the highly regarded youth hockey program of Rødovre SIK and then moved to the youth sector of Frölunda HC in Sweden where he also played alongside the former Lugano Patrick Zackrisson at the U20 level.

Right with the Indians he also made his debut with the first team in the SHL during the 2006-07 season when the coach of the team was the former coach of Zug and Kloten Per Bäckmann and when he had also “our” Martin Plüss as a teammate.

In Europe, however, Mikkel didn’t play much. In fact, in our continent he played only two games with Frölunda and then part of the 2012-13 season – the one of the NHL lockout – in Finland with Lukko where he tallied 33 points (21 goals) in 29 games and where he also shared the locker room with the former Gottéron Charles Bertrand and the Tiger Eero Elo. For the rest in fact, Mikkel Bødker always played overseas.

He was drafted by the Kitchener Rangers at the 2007 CHL Import Draft and played for the same team the 2007-08 OHL season tallying as many as 108 points in 82 games. Then, most and above all, thanks to the excellent performances he was drafted the next year by the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) in 8th overall position.

Mikkel remained with the Coyotes until February 2016, and during the second year he also played in the AHL. After that, he was traded for the former Lugano Alex Tanguay (other than Conner Bleackley and Kyle Wood) to the Colorado Avalanche. He didn’t stay long in Denver though… at the end of the season in fact, Mikkel was unable to come to terms with the Avalanche and left as a free agent for the San José Sharks where he spent two seasons before transferring, following a trade, to the Ottawa Senators starting from the 2018-19 season where he played before coming back to Europe to wear the jersey of Lugano.

Overall, Mikkel Bødker collected 743 appearances and tallied 343 points in the most prestigious league of the world. Those are really, good figures. Let us not forget, moreover, that he has always successfully represented his national team. We mean, Mikkel is good player who is also experienced when it comes to playing in larger rinks.

THE PLAYER

Mikkel Bødker is a very talented wing. He’s described as an excellent skater, with good technical skills and a player very tough to stop. We mean, that’s the perfect picture of a player who’s got all it takes to have a huge impact in Switzerland.

In order to get to know more about him though, as usual, we wanted to hear the opinion of someone who’s been following him from close in the recent past… in this case, we had the chance to talk James Reeve of SB Nation’s Five For Howling.

Let’s see what he can tell us about the player.

Boedker was selected eighth overall by the Coyotes in the 2008 Draft, which naturally comes with lofty expectations. He had skill, capable of scoring goals but primarily working as a playmaking winger. He was also a speedy skater, something that helped him hit 51 points in 13/14. He isn’t overly physical, preferring to use his decent stick handling to get out of trouble, but he doesn’t shy away from hits. He will be an offensively proficient player in the Swiss league and could easily become one of the top players at just 30 years old. His signing abroad was a bit of a surprise as he still has something to offer in the NHL, although it would have been as a bottom six forward at best.

Thank you very much, James.

OUR IMPRESSION

Speed, good playmaking skills, capability of scoring goals. That’s music to the ears of the fans of Lugano. Moreover, the guy is only 30 years old and is coming off two seasons played in Ottawa where he never really got the opportunity to show off his talent as Naftali Clinton of senshot.com confirmed us. Naftali Clinton even confirmed that it’s likely that Mikkel become a very important player for Lugano. In other words, Mikkel is still at the peak of his career and certainly has the will to get back at the top of his game.

As James told us, Mikkel is a player that could still find place in the bottom six of a team in the NHL. Therefore, we think it’s safe to say that Mikkel Bødker is that kind of a player that is not good enough to play in one of the first two lines of the most prestigious league of the world but that meanwhile is also too good to play in third or fourth line. We mean, he’s that type of a player that in Switzerland can do great things provided that he comes with the right mentality.

In our opinion, Lugano made a real deal.

FUN FACTS

* Mikkel Bødker had the honour of featuring on the cover of the videogame NHL 10 in Denmark and Norway. On that edition of the game, the legend Mark Streit had the honour of featuring on the cover of the videogame in Switzerland.

* Mikkel Bødker made his NHL debut on October 11th, 2008, with the Phoenix Coyotes against the Columbus Blue Jackets. That same day Lugano played against Kloten on the road and earned a 6-1 win thanks to the goals scored by Patrick Thoresen (2), Thierry Paterlini, Petteri Nummelin, Matteo Nodari and Kevin Romy. To note, as a fun fact, that that day also the current SD of Lugano Hnat Domenichelli was lined up for the Bianconeri coached back then by John Slettvoll and had 2 assists.

* On the other hand, Mikkel scored his first NHL goal two days later when the Coyotes played the Anaheim Ducks on the road and earned a 4-2 win. On that occasion, assisted by Reinprecht and Fedoruk, he scored the first goal of the night. To note that, always on that occasion, also Daniel Winnik – currently playing for Genève Servette – was lined up for the Coyotes.

* During the 2009-10 season Mikkel Bødker played 64 games with the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL. During that season, the Rampage were coached by Greg Ireland. The latter, as we all know, is the unforgotten coach of Lugano during the 2010-11 post-season and mostly between 2017 and 2019.

STATISTICS

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