Tampa Bay Lightning first round pick Slater Koekkoek made the team’s opening roster this season, but failed to draw into the lineup before getting reassigned to the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch.
Now, though, after putting up two assists in five regular season games in Syracuse, he’s heading back up to the big club.
The Lightning confirmed on Monday, via Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, that the defenseman has been recalled by the club ahead of their upcoming game against the New York Islanders. Fellow defenseman Matt Taormina was reassigned to the Crunch in his place, after getting recalled to replace Koekkoek the first time the prospect was moved between the two clubs.
Selected 10th overall by the Lightning in 2012, the 22-year-old Koekkoek skated for the Peterborough Petes and the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL prior to going pro within Tampa Bay’s system in 2015.
Since going pro, he’s recorded one assist in 12 career NHL games.
The Lightning are currently on a three game losing skid, getting outscored 12-3 in their last trio of games and dropping a whopping 6-1 decision to the New York Rangers on Sunday. Hopefully, the addition of Koekkoek on the blue line will help staunch some of the defensive bleeding, although the team’s failure to record more than a goal per game in each of their last three contests will have to change if they hope to turn things around as well.