Oilers Sign Slater Koekkoek To One-Year Deal

Oilers Sign Slater Koekkoek To One-Year Deal

Oilers

Oilers Sign Slater Koekkoek To One-Year Deal

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As expected, the Edmonton Oilers have added to their defensive group. After officially announcing that Oscar Klefbom is done for the 2020-21 season last week, the Oilers opened a late Christmas gift on Saturday with the signing of defenseman Slater Koekkoek. The contract is a one-year deal that carries a cap hit of $850,000.

Koekkoek played in 42 regular season games with the Chicago Blackhawks a season ago, scoring 10 points (1 g, 9 a) and averaging 16:45 of ice time per game. In addition, Koekkoek posted a 52.4% Corsi For while starting 46.7% of his shifts in the offensive zone. Koekkoek also played in nine playoff games for the Blackhawks, scoring three points (1 g, 2 a).

A strong third-pairing defenseman, Koekkoek posted outstanding possession numbers on a Blackhawks team that struggled defensively during the course of the 2019-20 season. His 52.4% Corsi For was 4.1 relative to his teammates, while his 52.4% Fenwick For was 4.5 relative to his teammates.

(All stats via hockey-reference)

A Chicago team that bled goals against, shots against and chances against actually did well when Koekkoek was on the ice a season ago. For those that value the eye test, I thought he was one of the Blackhawks most effective players during the ‘Play-in’ series against the Oilers in August.

Here is a look at Koekkoek’s scouting report via The Sports Forecaster.

Has awesome skating ability, which truly sets him apart from the others on the ice. Has plenty of puck-moving skills, the ability to quarterback a power play at lower levels and projectable size (6-2). Will need to clean up his defensive-zone coverage and improve his overall play when he doesn’t have the puck in order to maximize output in the NHL. Must also add more bulk to help avoid injuries.

Koekkoek joins a left-side depth chart that includes Darnell Nurse, Caleb Jones, Kris Russell and William Lagesson. Koekkoek, a consistent third-pairing option throughout his career, will likely compete with Russell and Lagesson for the third-pairing job alongside either Tyson Barrie or Adam Larsson.

The Edmonton Oilers open training camp on January 3rd, and kick off the 2020-21 season on January 13th against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

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