Bernard-Docker signs NHL contract with Senators, gives up senior season at North Dakota

Jacob Bernard-Docker was a rock on the North Dakota blue line the past three seasons (photo: Russell Hons).

The NHL’s Ottawa Senators announced Thursday that the team has signed North Dakota junior defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Following a required quarantine period, Bernard-Docker will report to the Senators.

In signing the contract, Bernard-Docker gives up his last year of NCAA eligibility.

Bernard-Docker was an alternate captain this year for UND, helping the team to back-to-back NCHC regular-season titles, a league tournament title this year and the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament.

An All-NCHC second team member this season, Bernard-Docker was also named the NCHC defensive defenseman of the year.

The Canmore, Alb., native earned NCHC distinguished scholar-athlete accolades in each of his three seasons, also a member of the all-academic squad all three years.

He produced 18 points this season (three goals, 15 assists) and finishes his three-year collegiate career with 60 points (15 goals, 45 assists). The past two seasons combined he was a +39 rating, including a +18 this year, third-best in the conference.

Bernard-Docker was selected by Ottawa in the first round (26th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft. He helped Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2020 IHF World Junior Championship, scoring a goal and leading the Canadians in time on ice in the tournament.