Mar 20, 2013, 9:12 PM EST
On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced an entry-level deal for Slater Koekkoek, the club’s first-round selection (10th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Koekkoek, 19, was one of the highly-touted prospects from the ridiculously deep defenseman class — he was the 10th overall pick at the draft, but the eighth blueliner off the board, going behind the likes of Ryan Murray, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly, Hampus Lindholm, Mathew Dumba, Derrick Pouliot and Jacob Trouba.
Koekkoek split this season between OHL Peterborough and Windsor, finishing with 6G-22A-28PTS in 42 games played.
“He’s got tremendous skating to go with real good size and a terrific competitive streak,” Lightning director of amateur scouting, Al Murray, told NHL.com. “He’s more skilled than people give him credit for.”
The big question facing Koekkoek moving forward is his health.
His 2011-12 season was cut short (26 games) due to a shoulder injury and this year, his campaign was again ended abruptly when he was forced to go under the knife for the same shoulder.
“The first procedure he had, it failed,” Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said back in January. “So he needs to have it redone.”
The surgery has ruled out Koekkoek for the season, meaning he won’t be able to join the Lightning or their AHL affiliate in Syracuse.
- Eichel earns assist and scores in shootout as U.S. squeaks by Finland 1
- Canada enters World Juniors as 11/10 favorite; USA next at 9/4 0
- Devils fire DeBoer 17
- More mumps: Downie and Greiss test positive 3
- Orpik reflects on ‘outside pressure’ in Pittsburgh 16
- Canada tabs Fucale for WJC opener 0
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment 10
- PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Kings win Cup, Martinez the OT hero 0
- Welcome to PHT’s top 14 stories for 2014 0
- Scott suspended four games for punch that was ‘neither predictable, nor acceptable’ 23
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (76)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)
- Panthers hold off Penguins for shootout win (42)