Swedish defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has signed his first NHL contract with the Phoenix Coyotes, who drafted him in the first round, sixth overall in the 2009 Entry Draft. The deal is a three-year entry level contract, standard for rookie players.
OEL just wrapped up a bronze medal with Sweden during the World Championships this past month where he posted a goal and two assists in nine games.
Analysts have claimed that Ekman-Larsson is an NHL-ready defenseman, but hopefully the Coyotes will take a year to develop him in San Antonio, although signing him is a great sign for the future of the Coyotes blueline, especially with the emergence of Keith Yandle last season.
In 81 games playing for Leksand of Allsvenskan, the second highest Swedish hockey league, OEL put up 12 goals and 44 points.
About the Author
Written by Matt Shott
22 year old hockey fan born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. Weird, huh? Entire family minus myself and my brother were born in Toronto, ON so thats how I became a fan of this great sport. I have worked at Ice rinks since I was 14 and spend all day reading hockey stories. I eat, sleep, coach, play, and basically LIVE hockey. I became a Red Wing fan thanks to EA Sports NHL '95 and haven't looked back since (Why would I?). Parents were Season Ticket holders for the Phoenix Coyotes since day 1 and when they moved to Portland 3 years ago, I picked up where they left off and have found a soft spot for them. I moved to Toronto in January '10 to attend Centennial College's Sports Journalism program, so I am becoming a Maple Leafs fan in the process. Its hard to do after 16 years of being a Red Wings fan. So to recap: Wings fan at heart, Leafs fan on the outside, and always carry a soft spot for the Coyotes.