Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced yesterday that the Lightning have signed 2012 first round draft pick, defenseman Slater Koekkoek to a three year entry level contract.
Koekkoek has spent much of this season playing for the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League. While with the Petes, Koekkoek played in a total of 40 games scoring 6 goals and garnering 22 assists for a total of 28 points.
On January 10th, the Petes made a mid-season trade in which the Windsor Spitfires acquired Koekkoek. Since the trade, he has played 2 games for the Spitfires earning 1 assist.
Since 2010, the 6’2 186 pound Manotik, Ontario native has played 133 games in the OHL scoring 18 goals and 52 assists for a total of 70 points with a total of 112 penalty minutes.
In 2011, he helped lead Team Canada to the Bronze Medal in the 2011 IIHF Under-18 World Championship.
Slater Koekkoek has selected 10th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
With the amount of holes we have seen in the Lightning defense this year, mostly due to a number of persistent injuries, we could sure use a solid force on the defense. Radko Gudas has done well so far this season at filling in those holes, but there are still a few that need to be plugged. But that is another story, for another day. From what I have seen of him in the time he was here for the Lightning’s Summer Development Camp, he could definitely have a strong future here in Tampa Bay.
I do not know at this time if he will immediately be joining the Lightning roster or if he will be joining the Lightning’s AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch, but in either case, I am sure that Koekkoek will give us something to cheer about.
You can see the official press release from the Tampa Bay Lightning by clicking here.
Where do you think that Slater Koekkoek fits into the scheme of things with the Lightning? Is there a particular spot that you feel he would be perfect for? Let us know in the comments below.