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ITO Prospect Files: Slater Koekkoek

This week we head to Eastern Ontario and take a look at the Peterborough Petes' hot prospect. The smooth-skating, offensive-minded defenseman is blossoming into one of the best Defenders in the 'O'. Let's get to know Slater Koekkoek's game a little better...

NHL Draft Prospect: Slater Koekkoek – Peterborough Petes

The Line:
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 183 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Defence
Draft Eligible: 2012

When you first look at Slater Kokkoek’s stat-line from last season it isn’t the goals, the assists or the penalty minutes that jumps out at you. What you first see is the plus/minus. Last season, playing with the Peterborough Petes, the Mountain, Ontario product was a minus 29. This is where I hate this statistic. When watching Slater play you see the genius in his game. His defensive and offensive positioning is usually on point and his passing is very creative. He often-times gives you the “how did he see that” moment. But you can’t see that in a stat-line. All you see is that his defensive game must be sub-par due to his plus/minus.

In his rookie season, Koekkoek, had 23 points, seven of them being goals. This season in 22 games he has already scored five goals and 17 points. His offensive game is flourishing as have his Peterborough Petes squad who find themselves right in the thick of it in the Eastern Conference. Slater brings an up-tempo style to his game. He can skate well and makes great first passes that allow for the creation of team speed through the neutral zone, all of this while playing more than 26 minutes per night.

There is a lot to like with Slater, as there should be with a prospect of this caliber. But, what needs to be improved upon is his defensive play, below his own icing line. He can be caught out of position from time to time and at the next level this could turn into a lot of lapses in coverage. His game is raw and he will be a bit of a project to help him refine his game, but he has a high ceiling. His skill set is there and thus, he should be a mid-first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

NHL Player Comparison: Erik Karlsson

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