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Tampa Bay’s Koekkoek named to Canada’s World Junior camp roster

Jul 29, 2013, 11:13 PM EDT

SlaterKoekkoek

Slater Koekkoek has been named as an injury replacement for Team Canada’s entry at August’s U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, Hockey Canada announced on Monday.

Koekkoek (pronounced “Koo Koo,”) will replace New York Islanders prospect Adam Pelech, who is injured.

The development is a big one for the 19-year-old Koekkoek, one of the eight defensemen selected within the first 10 picks of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Koekkoek went No. 10 overall to Tampa Bay in a class that featured fellow Team Canada invitees Griffin Reinhart (New York Islanders, No. 4 overall), Morgan Rielly (Toronto, No. 5 overall), Mathew Dumba (Minnesota, No. 7 overall) and Derrick Pouliot (Pittsburgh, No. 8 overall).

The U.S. NJEC takes place in Lake Placid from Aug. 3-10 and will feature four team — the Americans, Canadians, Finns and Swedes — in what amounts to the biggest showcase of junior-age talent prior to the 2014 World Juniors, which get started on Dec. 26 from Malmo, Sweden.

In March, the Bolts signed Koekkoek to a three-year entry-level contract. He faces an uphill battle in making the Tampa Bay roster this season as the club already has six solid defensemen under contract — Matt Carle, Victor Hedman, Eric Brewer, Sami Salo, Radko Gudas and Keith Aulie — with a seventh, former University of Omaha-Nebraska standout Andrej Sustr, in the mix as well.

  1. withseidelinn - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    I think this guy has a little more upside than Radko Gudas…

    • mathieug79 - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      Yes!! he has a little more upside, his skating is above average. Now he needs to stay healthy, and put on muscles. Radko Gudas on the hand is ready for the NHL now! Can’t wait to see him play a full season! He also plays the type of physical game the Lightning desperately needed the last 2 seasons!

  2. jb8588 - Jul 30, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Disagree with that…Gudas is going to be the second coming of Pavel Kubina IMO, but a better skater & more physical. Aulie, Carle & Brewer all leave MUCH to be desired.

    • mathieug79 - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:54 AM

      Koekkoek is projected to be a top 2 Dmen which is why he has more “UPSIDE” than Radko Gudas. Gudas will be a 3-4 Dmen, that can lay the body, keep the opponents on their toes, and occasionally fight. When drafted Koekkoek he was compared to Kevin Shattenkirk, couple more scouting reports had Alex Edler and Zach Bogosian as possible projection but for that to happen, Koekkoek needs to put his injuries behind him, fill out his frame and keep developing his defensive game.

  3. valoisvipers - Jul 30, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Just where were these “six solid defensemen under contract” last year?

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