Insider: Tampa Bay Lightning Sign Slater Koekkoek

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman and 2012 first-round draft pick Slater Koekkoek on Wednesday to a standard three-year entry level deal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Koekkoek thanked everyone on his twitter account, saying today was a big day and a dream come true.

Here is the release from the team:

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed 2012 first-round pick, Slater Koekkoek (COO-coo), to a standard three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. 

Koekkoek, 6-foot-2, 186 pounds, played in 42 games in the Ontario Hockey League this season with the Peterborough Petes and the Windsor Spitfires following a mid-season trade on January 10. He played in 40 games with the Petes prior to the move, recording six goals and 28 points.  Koekkoek played in two games with Windsor after the trade, notching one assist with a plus-2 rating.

A native of Manotik, Ontario, Koekkoek has played in 133 career OHL games with Peterborough and Windsor, registering 18 goals and 70 points with 112 penalty minutes.  He represented Team Canada at the 2011 IIHF Under-18 World Championship, where he had two points in seven games and helped lead Canada to the Bronze Medal.  Koekkoek also played in the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and led Canada in defensive scoring with five points in five games while also serving as alternate captain. 

The Lightning made Koekkoek the 10th overall pick at this past summer’s draft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the first time Tampa Bay has picked 10th overall.  He is one of 12 Top 10 picks in Lightning history.  Koekkoek was a participant in this year’s Lightning Summer Development Camp, helping his team, which also consisted of Vlad Namestnikov, Nikita Nesterov and Cedric Paquette, win the annual 3-on-3 tournament.