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Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Slater Koekkoek says shoulder injury "is not a big deal"



Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Slater Koekkoek said he breathed a sigh of relief when he found out all he sustained in Thursday's preseason game was a deep bone bruise. It certainly seemed as if it would be worse when the defenseman for Peterborough of the junior Ontario Hockey League left the game and was taken to a hospital for tests after he fell awkwardly into the boards from a heavy hit by Oshawa's Boone Jenner.

Upping the angst even more was that Koekkoek's left shoulder was injured playing in his first game since surgery on that shoulder last season to repair a torn labrum.

"It's always in the back of your mind," said Koekkoek, whom the Lightning last summer drafted 10th overall. "But it's good news today so it's no big deal."

Koekkoek, 18, whom the Lightning projects as a top-two blue-liner, is expected out about two weeks.

"It's not a serious thing, so I'm happy about that," Koekkoek said. "Obviously, it's tough. I worked so hard to get it back. But this isn't affecting (the surgical repair) at all."

"He had shoulder surgery and had it repaired," Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said. "Sometimes you've got to get used to getting banged around and get that strength back. He'll be all right in the long run."

In other news, goaltending prospect Jaroslav Janus has signed a two-year contract with HC Slovan, a KHL team in Bratislava, Slovakia, according to reports. Janus had a 0.99 goals-against average and .963 save percentage in two games playing under a tryout deal.

[Last modified: Friday, September 7, 2012 4:53pm]


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