General Manager Steve Yzerman has led three entry drafts for the Tampa Bay Lightning and twice raised eyebrows when he chose an injury-risk player with a top-10 pick. The first was Brett Connolly (hips) in 2010, which has worked out okay so far. In June of this year, Yzerman selected promising defenseman Slater Koekkoek of the Peterborough Petes with the 10th overall pick despite the fact Koekkoek missed all but two months of the season with a severe shoulder injury. Koekkoek, who had his shoulder surgically repaired, passed all medical examinations before the draft.
The Petes' kicked off their preseason last night and Koekkoek – named captain earlier in the week – played his first competitive game since he was hurt on November 27, 2011. Koekkoek took a hit from Blue Jackets prospect Boone Jenner of Oshawa and later left the game. According to the Peterborough Examiner, Koekkoek was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. His coach, Mike Pelino, classified the injury as an “upper body injury,” which opens speculation that it could be the same shoulder.