Oliver Ekman-Larsson(23) Portland Pirates

Phoenix Coyotes‘ 1st round pick in the 2009 (#6 overall), Swedish-born defenseman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson(23) is in the final season of his three year entry level deal.

He played the full 82-game slate last season in the NHL picking up career highs in goals, assists and points (13-19-32) and added another goal and three assists in an outstanding playoff effort.

In his rookie season he did ride the plane a bit on the up and down reassignments between the Coyotes and then affiliate San Antonio Rampage but started his first campaign in the show and did fairly well in 63 combined games in both leagues.

At 6’2″ 190 lbs. he doesn’t seem like the biggest threat out there physically but is unafraid to throw his body around when needed, although he’s definitely looked at as more of a scoring, puck-moving blue liner that can fire it into the back of the net as good as he can sending that first pass up the ice to rushing forwards or feeding a skater in the offensive zone for a goal.

In 13 AHL games with Portland Pirates on reassignment as the NHL continues to figure out how to move forward, he’s easily a point per game player with 5 goals and 8 assists, and is a nice +5 plus/minus.

He’s still only 21-years old and it should be a no-brainer for Phoenix to extend his contract for at least a couple more seasons.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

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