Slater Koekkoek
Image: NHL

Slater Koekkoek

Hometown:

Mountain Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1994-02-28

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2012

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2012

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

1st round (10th overall), 2012

Weight:

184 lbs.

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History

2009-10: Slater Koekkoek skated for the Notre Dame Hounds Midget AAA team in Saskatchewan. He scored 16 goals with 27 assists and 91 penalty minutes in 44 games. In the SMHL playoffs he scored 3 goals with 4 assists and 6 penalty minutes in 13 games. Koekkoek was selected by Peterborough in the first round (7th overall) of the 2010 OHL Priority Draft.

2010-11: Koekkoek played in 65 games as an OHL rookie with the Peterborough Petes, represented Canada at the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship, and skated for the gold medal-winning Team Ontario squad at the 2011 U17 World Hockey Challenge. On a Peterborough team that won just 20 games, finishing last in the East Division, Koekkoek scored 7 goals with 16 assists and was minus-29 with 67 penalty minutes.In seven games with fourth-place Canada at the U18 WJC, he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was minus-five with 2 penalty minutes. Koekkoek scored 1 goal with 2 assists and 8 penalty minutes in five games at the U17 WHC.

2011-12: Koekkoek skated in 26 games for the Petes – suffering a season-ending shoulder injury at the end of November. He scored 5 goals with 13 assists and was -7 with 17 penalty minutes. Without Koekkoek, Peterborough finished fourth in the East Division but did not make the OHL playoffs. Koekkoek was ranked 23rd amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.

2012-13: Obtained by Windsor in a mid-season trade after serving as Peterborough’s captain at the beginning of the year, Koekkoek skated in just two games for the Spitfires: suffering a season-opening shoulder injury. He scored 6 goals with 22 assists in 40 games and was -26 with 28 penalty minutes for Peterborough and was +2 with 1 assist in two games with the Spitfires. Koekkoek signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Tampa Bay in March of 2013.

2013-14: Koekkoek was the fourth-leading scorer and the top offensive defensemen for the Windsor Spitfires in his fourth OHL season. He scored 15 goals with 38 assists and was +44 with 51 penalty minutes in 62 games. Koekkoek suffered a torn labrum in March 2014, missing the remainder of the regular season and Windsor’s first-round playoff series against London. The Spitfires finished second in the West Division before being swept by the Knights.

2014-15: Koekkoek made his NHL debut with the Lightning in a March 31st game against Toronto and played three late season games with Tampa Bay after spending his first pro season with AHL affiliate Syracuse. He was an even plus/minus with no points and 2 penalty minutes, averaging 16:35 minutes of ice time with Tampa Bay. Koekkoek was the top scorer amongst defensemen for Syracuse, scoring 5 goals with 21 assists, and was +7 with 44 penalty minutes in 72 regular season games. The Crunch finished second to Hartford in the Northeast Division and were swept by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in a first-round playoff series. Koekkoek was +1 with 1 assist and 6 penalty minutes in three playoff games.

Talent Analysis

Koekkoek is primarily an offensively-oriented defenseman possessing a heavy and accurate shot.  He also has solid playmaking ability, with the ability to make a good first pass out of the defensive zone as well as accurate passing in open ice.  At this point, Koekkoek projects as a second-pairing defenseman with some potential to be a power-play quarterback.

Future

Koekkoek has a successful first pro season in 2014-15, leading Tampa Bay AHL affiliate Syracuse defensemen in scoring and making his NHL debut in a three-game stint with the Lightning late in the year. Long-term his playmaking ability and skating skills suggest he will fit in well in a first or second paring role with the high tempo style played by Tampa Bay. He will need added bulk and experience to reach that potential.

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