The Edmonton Oilers will be bringing back a familiar face. The team has signed Slater Koekkoek to a two-year contract that will carry an average annual value of $925K. Koekkoek was an unrestricted free agent, but spent this past season with the Oilers. PuckPedia reports that the deal is worth $750K in 2021-22 and $1.1MM in 2022-23.
Koekkoek, 27, registered a single point in 18 games for the Oilers, but still was in the lineup when the team took on the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the playoffs (and were quickly swept). If things go according to plan he won’t be there this time around, as the Oilers have revamped their defensive group, but the team still obviously values him enough to bring him back on an inexpensive deal.
Selected 10th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012, Koekkoek was supposed to bring a mix of size and offensive ability. Insead, by the time he got to the NHL that offense had completely dried up, limiting him to a depth role. In 85 games for the Lightning spread over parts of five years, he registered 14 points. He actually eclipsed that mark by one in just 64 contests with the Chicago Blackhawks, but there was still never really any sign of a top-four player.
Now, even hitting the open market at a relatively young age, Koekkoek has taken the security of a two-year deal with the Oilers. He’ll slide into the depth chart somewhere around seven or eight, depending on the development of some of the younger options in Edmonton’s pipeline, but there’s little doubt Koekkoek will be playing games for them at some point this year.
Mark Spector of Sportsnet broke the deal on Twitter