Coyotes ink defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to six-year extension
Glendale, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has signed a six-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes worth $5.5 million annually.
The Coyotes have made it a priority to sign the 21-year-old from Sweden, who is considered Phoenix’s top defenseman.
More importantly, the team foresees Ekman-Larsson developing into one of the best players in the NHL.
“When you watch us and you watch this young man, how he plays, you know he’s not only a star now but he has a chance to be one of the best players in the league for a long, long time,” general manager Don Maloney said. “That’s why we stepped up and did it.”
He noted that while Ekman-Larson is still maturing physically as well as mentally, but he’s already an elite player in many ways.
Ekman-Larsson played in all 82 games last season, setting career highs with 13 goals and 19 assists. This season, he has three goals in 27 games and leads the Coyotes defensemen with 14 assists and 17 points.
He has 17 goals and 43 assists in 157 career NHL games after being taken by the Coyotes with the sixth overall pick of the 2009 draft.
The Coyotes are being operated by the league for the fourth straight season.