In the draft year that is known for its defensive prospects, highlighted by names like Ryan Murray, Nick Ebert, Matt Dumba and Jacob Trouba, theres one defenseman that is flying under the radar of the hype-machine, but considered a possible top ten pick.
And that is Slater Koekkoek.
I know, I'm still confused on how to pronounce his last name.
My ever changing rankings, at this point, ranks Koekkoek at #12 but I have a feeling he'll find his way near the top of my rankings for available defensemen in the draft some time soon.
So lets go, explore and find out more about Peterborough Petes defenseman Slater Koekkoek!
#29 / Defense / Peterborough Petes
Feb 18, 1994
|2011 - Peterborough Petes
Like I mentioned before, with big names like Murray considered to be selected at the top of the draft, there might be a chance for the Wild to select a defenseman like Koekkoek. Not many defenseman like Koekkoek come around.
Versatile is the word. Koekkoek can do everything, and is relied on by the Peterborough Petes to do everything.
Sean Lafortune from Future Considerations mentioned:
Slater Koekkoek is a personal favorite of mine. He is a defenseman who brings everything you look for, be it offensive ability, defensive intelligence and a high ceiling. He can play either a physical role or an offensive one. He makes smart plays with the puck, but is also effective when skating the puck up the ice and making plays in the neutral zone at a higher speed.
He will be in an interesting position this season in Peterborough, who will be counting on him to be their top defenseman this season. He will play a large amount of minutes and give scouts every opportunity to see him play in every situation possible. Based on his skill set and projectable upside, he should be one of the first defenseman selected out of the Ontario Hockey League.
One thing that isn't mentioned in the quote, but in so many others, is his skating ability. Koekkoek is extremely mobile, has good foot work, and has good speed.
I mean, watch this beauty. I'm not talking about the goal, just watch his feet go. While not exactly efficient, just watching him motor his way on the blueline while dangerously keeping his options open is a beauty.
Slater Koekkoek 1st ohl goal vs Belleville (2010-09-30) (via nhldraftvideo)
So what are his flaws? If he didn't have any, he wouldn't be considered at #10-#15 at the beginning of the season.
Brock Otten from OHLProspects
Unlike the defenseman listed above him, Koekkoek is still a bit of a work in progress. IMO, he's definitely the least refined of the top end defenseman available from the OHL. But he may also have the most potential. To start the season, he's been as inconsistent as the Petes team he plays for. Some nights he looks like a perennial all star, and others he looks like he's out there trying to do too much. But with his skating ability (which may be among the best of this high end group), in combination with his size, aggression and two way potential, he could easily creep up to the top of this list.
Super talented, but extremely raw. He also has some room to fill out as well if he wants to become an effective defenseman in the NHL
As you can tell, Koekkoek has become one of my favorite picks this for this years draft. You don't often find a young defenseman who can eat up the amount of minutes that he does.
To summarize, Slater Koekkoek is a two-way defenseman that can play very well at both ends of the ice. He can move extremely well, has good hockey smarts and has the poise and confidence to play an enormous amount of ice time. Can play well at both ends of the ice, and adds some aggression and physicality to the game. However he is considered quite raw, but talented.