LOS ANGELES—The LA Kings have traded their seventh round selection in the 2018 NHL Draft to Tampa Bay for unsigned left winger Bokondji “Boko” Imama, under the condition that the Kings sign him before the 2:00 p.m. (PT) deadline on Thursday, June 1 or the forward will become a free agent.
The 20-year-old was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round (180th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Imama hails from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, stands at 6 feet and 1 inch tall and weighs 221 pounds.
Prior to the NHL, Imama played for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar (from 2012 to 2015) and Saint John Sea Dogs (2015 to 2017) of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), totaling 276 career games, 71 goals, 123 points, 463 penalty minutes and a plus-19 rating. He has appeared in 52 playoff games with both QMJHL teams, posting 24 points (comprised of nine goals and 15 assists).
In the 2016-2017 season, Imama played in 66 regular-season games with the Sea Dogs, serving as an assistant captain. He attained a career-peaking 41 goals and 14 assists for a total of 55 points in addition to 105 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating. He also reached career highs in power play goals (14) and game-winning goals (eight).
This past season, Imama led the Sea Dogs in goals, was ranked fifth for points, and third for penalty minutes. In 18 playoff games, he attained eight goals and 15 points. The team won the QMJHL Championship this year before qualifying for the semi-final round of the 2017 Memorial Cup. They were eliminated by the Erie Otters.
Jon Rosen, writer for LAKingsInsider.com, disclosed additional details on Imama. He engaged in 47 fights in QMJHL pre-season, regular, and post-season games and also in a Tampa Bay rookie game against Nashville, during which he challenged Mathieu Olivier. Rosen stated that Imama is “known for his upper-body strength as a burly power forward.”
Imama told The Color Of Hockey writer William Douglas, “To be realistic, when I’m going to pro level, I’ll have to come back to myself, to be more of a grinder, more of a fighter. Right now, as a 20-year-old, I have the chance to play a more offensive dimension. So I’m pretty grateful and I’m having a lot of fun. But once I start playing pro, I have to get back to the old me, if I can say that.”