PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 22: Slater Koekkoek (C), tenth overall pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning, poses on stage with general manager Steve Yzerman (L) and team representatives during Round One of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft at Consol Energy Center on June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The speculative period is over. GM Steve Yzerman has made his third ever selection in the NHL Draft, choosing (name, position, team) to compliment previous first round choices of Brett Connolly (2010) and Vladislav Namestnikiov (2011).
The first round has been loaded with unpredictability after the first 3 selections. When the New York Islanders selected Griffin Reinhart 4th overall, things seemed odd. When the Toronto Maple Leafs took Morgan Rielly at 5th, things seemed odder, when the Anaheim Ducks selected Hampus Lindholm with the 6th overall selection, things seemed downright wacky. All three players had been slated for the mid-first round, and here they were falling in the top 10. The Minnesota Wild continued the run on defense, going back to a player projected to go high and selecting Mathew Dumba.
The anarchy did not end there. Pittsburgh traded Jordan Staal to Carolina for the 8th overall draft selection and more before taking defenseman Derrick Pouliot... Another defenseman slated to go later than the top 10.
If anything, this draft has proven mock drafts are a guessing game and we won't know what the actual selections are until they are actually read by team officials.
The run on defense continued as the Former Thrashers of Winnipeg selected Jacob Trouba with the 9th selection, that robbed the Lightning of one of the top defensive prospects in the draft but left a very ripe basket of offensive talent for the picking at 10.
But the Bolts didn't go offense, they continued the run on defensemen and selected Slater Koekkoek with the 10th overall pick.
The 6' 2" defenseman played for Peterborough of the OHL last season and played only 26 games for the Petes... Still, his numbers (5 goals, 13 assists) drew attention. Still, Koekkoek is projected as a still very raw prospect. You can read more on him at Hockey Wilderness.
Is Koekkoek a top 10 pick though? The Lightning organization are thing on defense, that is certainly true... But Slater Koekkoek seemed like a top 20 pick - certainly someone who would be available in the later 1st round. With Filip Forsberg, Cody Ceci, and a rash of other prospects on the board rated higher that Koekkoek... Well, lets just say we're all going to be eagler waiting ot hear what Steve Yzerman has to say about this pick and if the defensive run influenced the reach at 10.