The Phoenix Coyotes have locked up one of their rising stars. The team and 21 year-old Swedish defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson agreed to a six year deal worth a reported $5.5 million a year.
“I had a big smile on my lips,” said Ekman-Larsson when asked how excited he was to hear the news of the deal. “It was a great day for my family and myself.”
“Oliver is an exceptional young player who will continue to improve as he matures,” said Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney. “He is an important part of our future and we are pleased to have agreed on a long term contract.”
Ekman-Larsson has continued to elevate his game in 2013 as through 27 games as he leads all Coyotes defenseman and is tied for 6th in the NHL for defenseman with 17 points. All this coming off of a season where he set career highs in goals (13), assists (19), points (32) and games played (82).
“We all have a huge appreciation for how amazing he is and how talented he is,” mentioned Coyotes Captain Shane Doan. “He’s as good a guy as he is a hockey player. He’s a great kid. He’s a guy that everyone loves and everyone admires for the way he handles himself. It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”
“I am really happy to be in this organization and I think we have something great here,” added Ekman-Larsson. “I really like the group of guys we have and I think both parties are pretty happy about this deal.
Ekman-Larsson originally joined the Phoenix Coyotes via the 2009 NHL entry draft being selected by the team 6th overall in the first round.