Last night, the Oilers lost defenceman, Slater Koekkoek, only 14 seconds into the Battle of Alberta rematch after he took a high hit from Sam Bennett that resulted in a nasty-looking fall to the ice. This morning, we learned the severity of the injury and it does not look good.
Looks like we’ll be without Koekkoek for a while. 😬 -bm pic.twitter.com/5ZCb0H330T
— Oilersnation.com (@OilersNation) February 21, 2021
Koekkoek revealed via his personal Instagram account that the hit/fall from Bennett resulted in a broken collarbone that will surely keep the veteran defenceman on the shelf for the foreseeable future. I don’t remember exactly how long Connor McDavid’s collarbone took to heal when he broke it a few years back — I honestly try not to think about it — but I do know that we’re talking months and not weeks and that means Koekkoek won’t be around for a while. It goes without saying that this is some very unfortunate news for a guy that had played his way into a nightly role with the Oilers, spending most of his time patrolling the third pairing and killing penalties when needed.
Koekkoek’s absence will likely mean that Caleb Jones draws back in on the third pairing after spending the past few weeks as a healthy scratch, and it will be interesting to see how or if this swap will affect the progress made on the PK. While Jones is certainly a better puck distributor with greater overall mobility, he only plays at even-strength at this stage and I wonder if this will be the opportunity needed to get him involved in the special teams. Regardless of what happens over the coming weeks, this will be a huge chance for Jones to prove that he belongs in Dave Tippett’s lineup rather than being the guy that only gets tapped for spot duty. So far in 2021, Jones has one assist in only seven games to go along with an average of 14:54 in TOI, a 52.9 CF%, and a 47.5 oZS%.
The Oilers were also without Kailer Yamamoto for the end of the last night’s game, but we’re still waiting for updates on his situation at this time
KOEKKOEK’S SEASON SO FAR