The Tampa Bay Lightning selected Slater Koekkoek with their first pick in Round 1 of the 2012 NHL Draft on Friday night. Steve Yzerman decided to go with a big defenseman in Koekkoek in the 1st Round. He's a prospect who could eventually pair nicely with Victor Hedman on the blue line in Tampa Bay.
Koekkoek's stock slipped a bit because of injury concerns, which limited his action last year with the Peterborough Petes in the Ontario Hockey League. More on Koekkoek's potential from SB Nation's Travis Hughes:
Despite his injury-shortened year and the stunted development that could potentially come from it, Koekkoek was still expected to be a mid-to-late first round pick.
His most valuable skills are his speed and puck-moving ability. Couple that with his big 6'2 frame and strong hockey sense and you have a guy with very high potential. It's a risky pick due to the injury but it could pay off.
The Lightning will select again with the No. 19 pick in the 1st Round.