Looks like Slater Koekkoek could be a full-time member of the Bolts next season.
On Monday, Tampa Bay extended Koekkoek with a one-year, one-way deal worth $800,000, suggesting the 10th overall pick in 2012 will have a larger role in ’17-18.
Previously, Koekkoek split his time between Tampa and the club’s AHL affiliate in Syracuse. The 23-year-old appeared in a career-high 29 NHL games last season, but featured more prominently for the Crunch. He played 48 regular-season games and was a big part of the club’s Calder Cup Final run, scoring seven points in 22 contests.
It also remains to be seen if head coach Jon Cooper will give youngsters like Koekkoek, Jake Dotchin and Mikhail Sergachev bigger roles, while dialing back the workloads of his veterans. Newly signed Dan Girardi is 33 years old with a lot of miles on the odometer. Braydon Coburn is 32, while Anton Stralman is 30.