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Oilers Sign Defenceman Slater Koekkoek To One Year Deal

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Koekkoek will join crowded blueline and compete for minutes in 2021

Chicago Blackhawks v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette /NHLI via Getty Images

Oilers blue line depth increases by exactly one today, as defenceman Slater Koekkoek has signed on in Edmonton for one year at 850K.

You probably remember Slater Koekkoek as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks club that faced Edmonton in the best of 5 Return-To-Play this past August. While we won’t discuss how that ended, it should be noted that the addition of Slater Koekkoek to the Oilers D corps is a decent add to the back end.

Koekkoek averaged 16:45 per game with Chicago in 2019-20 and spent most of his time alongside then-Hawks defenceman Olli Maatta, the pair put together a 53% CF. That number dipped to 45% when Maatta was away from Koekkoek, which is a pretty good signal that Koekkoek helped keep it together when he and Maatta were a pair. Koekkoek isn’t going to score a whole bunch of points (he had 10 in 42 games last year)

Koekkoek was originally taken tenth overall in the 2012 Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He joined the Blackhawks via trade in early 2019. Koekkoek did not receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks this offseason, and subsequently became a free agent.

Slater Koekkoek will give the club plenty of options on the third pair along with Kris Russell, Theodor Lennstron and William Lagesson. The addition of Koekkoek is nearly zero risk due to both the contract length and cap hit, and could end up paying off for the Oilers quite nicely. It’s a nice signing and a good bet for Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers.