Bokondji Imama could one day have the most distinctive name in the NHL.
The Montreal native, a solid 6-foot-1, 214 pound left wing for the St. John’s Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, realized a dream as the Tampa Bay Lightning selected him with the 180th overall pick in the sixth round of the NHL draft.
“I’m so, so happy,” he told a cluster of reporters.
Imama’s father, also named Bokondji, and mother were born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bokondji grew up as a typical kid in Montreal, playing hockey on outdoor rinks. But he loved all sports, and played rugged games with his father. The training turned him into a physical skater.
“I’m a physical player, he said, who likes to stick up for his teammates, “but I can play the game, too.”
In 23 games with the Sea Dogs, Imama had three goals and six assists, but also 48 penalty minutes.
Color of Hockey’s Lew Serviss wrote this post.