Junior hockey fans on Twitter are all…a-flutter over a tweet from Barrie Colts beat writer Gene Pereira: Lightning prospect Slater Koekkoek has requested a trade from the Peterborough Petes. Pereira also says that Alan Quine (Red Wings) and Nick Ritchie (not yet draft eligible) have requested trades as well. Petes Insider also tweeted this rumor. Even if this proves to be untrue (of course there will be denials), it is easy to believe given that Peterborough is dead last in the OHL with a record of 8-23-3-1 through 35 games.
The atmosphere in Peterborough is not unlike that of Prince George of the WHL last year — the state of the Cougars was rumored to be one of the reasons Brett Connolly stayed with Tampa Bay past the nine game tryout window. His rights were traded in the middle of the season, but by then he had played more than enough games to burn the first year of his contract.
What does this mean for Koekkoek? It’s a chance to develop his skills in a winning environment. As it stands, he’s second on the Petes in scoring with 5-20-25 through 35 games. Though his plus minus rating of -22 is an eyesore, it’s not surprising given the minutes he plays on a bad team. I have to imagine that the contenders in the OHL will be lining up for a terrific defenseman like Koekkoek – and if he does get traded, we’ll be sure to let you know.