Slater Koekkoek

Brayden Olafson

2018-02-26

Slater Koekkoek, D

Shoots: L

Height: 6-2

Weight: 197

Born: 1994-02-18

Hometown: Mountain, Ontario

Drafted: 2012 by Tampa Bay Lightning, 10th Overall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

February 2018 – In their quest for the 2018 Stanley Cup, the Lightning made a major transaction to acquire Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller from the New York Rangers. The acquisition of McDonagh will likely last only until the expiration of his contract, however, in the short term, this will certainly hurt Koekkoek outlook. The former first round pick, has already been struggling to earn significant ice time this season, so there is little doubt that the acquisition of a more highly skilled version of himself will all but block him from getting in the lineup for the remainder of the season. Based on this acquisition, and what we've seen throughout the year, the chances of Koekkoek even returning for the Bolts next season have greatly diminished. If he does, by some miracle, last until the expiration of McDonagh's contract, he'll continue to jockey with Cal Foote for a similar role in 2019-20. Brayden Olafson

February 2018 – After being used sparingly throughout the first half of the season, the Lightning were finally forced to bump up Koekkoek's deployment with the Lightning, while number-one defenseman, Victor Hedman recovered from injury. There have been an increasing number of rumors in regards to his status with the Lightning as teams approach the trade deadline, however, Hedman's injury will have likely given the Lightning some pause in the situation, while allowing them to truly evaluate the former 10th overall draft-pick. The lefty logged a year high, 18:34 in ice-time on January 23rd in a 4-3 overtime win versus the Nashville Predators and tallied an assist in the win. Two games later, in Hedman's return, he was left out of the lineup versus the Winnipeg Jets. Koekkoek's best chance of sticking with the Lightning, long-term is by beating out Braden Cobourn for what should be a top-4 role. Anything less could be considered a bust for the Lightning, at which point they could attempt to recoup assets for him. Brayden Olafson

 

October 2017 – After an exciting 2-goal performance against the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the dust is beginning to settle with Koekkoek as Head Coach Jon Cooper continues to keep him glued to the bench, and more recently, to the press box. In the playing time that he has received, Koekkoek obviously hasn't demonstrated to the coaching staff that he is fully capable of providing what they're asking of him, and as such, has been limited to under 10 minutes of ice time per game, consistently. There's no lack of competition for Koekkoek on the blue line, but it appears that the Lightning prefer the experience of Andrei Sustr to fill their 7th defenseman slot, and the reliability of Braydon Coburn to eat up their tougher minutes. The limited exposure certainly won't have a positive effect on Koekkoek's confidence but he shouldn't be written off entirely. A change of scenery might be what is best for the former first-round pick as the pressure of stronger competition continues to build.  – Brayden Olafson

 

July 2017 – Heading into 2017 training camp, Koekkoek will find himself thrust into the heat of some heavy competition as the Lightning defensive depth chart has seemingly engulfed him over the course of the past year. While Koekkoek has struggled to make much meaningful contributions at the NHL level, Steve Yzerman appears to be holding out hope that