New Blackhawks defenseman Slater Koekkoek waiting to see where he fits in



When new players have arrived in commerce or from Rockford, it’s been Hawks coach Jeremy Colliton’s fashion to get them into the lineup instantly.

That wasn’t the case with defenseman Slater Koekkoek, who the Hawks acquired on Friday in a trade that despatched Jan Rutta to the Lightning and in addition swapped late-round draft picks.

Koekkoek (pronounced “Koo Koo”) was with the staff for Saturday’s morning skate sporting No. 68 but wasn’t scheduled to play towards the Golden Knights.

There merely is not a spot for him in the meanwhile. The Hawks have been proud of their current blend of veteran and younger blue liners: Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Connor Murphy, Erik Gustafsson, Henri Jokiharju and Carl Dahlstrom.

Koekkoek, 24, has been making an attempt to figure out the place he matches in with the Hawks. He had not been capable of crack the Lightning’s lineup and was at their AHL group in Syracuse to get conditioning work in when he discovered of the commerce.

“In my head, I have some ideas, however finally it’s up to the coach and what he thinks,” Koekkoek stated. “I’m just here to work exhausting till I get my opportunity after which do what I can out there.”

Colliton spoke extremely of Koekkoek’s skating expertise and stated it’s not needed for him to be overly bodily.

“I feel he can compete for a task,” Colliton stated. “So we’ll see how that plays out. We will watch all of the tape you need however once you get him here that’s when we will actually evaluate him.”

With Koekkoek and Brandon Davidson, the Hawks are carrying eight defensemen and could have another in the mix when Gustav Forsling (higher torso) comes off injured reserve. The most probably state of affairs can be for Forsling and Davidson to go to Rockford. Davidson has already cleared waivers and Forsling is exempt.

Hawks make 9-yr-previous’s want come true: The Hawks invited 9-yr-previous Colman Kuzniar to hitch them on the ice for morning apply to satisfy his wish to follow together with his favorite group. Colman, who resides with widespread variable immune deficiency, was capable of shoot and score on Cam Ward and spend time talking to his favourite player, Jonathan Toews.

“(Toews) just needed me to beat him in a face-off,” Colman stated. “Which I did.”

The Hawks worked with Make-A-Wish Illinois to assist Colman’s dream come true.

jgreenfield@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @jcgreenx

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