FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Saturday, April 11, 2015
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes announced today the team awards winners for the 2014-15 NHL season. Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson won the Fry’s Food Stores Team MVP Award and the Desert Schools Leading Scorer Award. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith won the Ganem Jewelers Three-Star Award while forward Tobias Rieder captured the Arizona Lottery Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy. Defenseman Michael Stone was selected as the Gila River Casinos Man of the Year Award for his dedication to the community.
• In his fifth season with the Coyotes, Ekman-Larsson led the team in goals (23) and points (43). He tied the franchise record for defensemen goals in a season and established an NHL record for goals in a season by a Swedish-born defenseman. Entering tonight’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Ekman-Larsson leads the team in games (81), shots (257), time-on-ice/game (25:09) and power-play points (20) to win the Fry’s Food Stores Team MVP Award. The Coyotes broadcast media along with beat writers from the Arizona Republic and FoxSportsArizona.com voted for the award.
Ekman-Larsson became the fourth defenseman in franchise history to score 20 goals in a season and the first to do so since 1991-92.The 23-year-old native of Karlskrona, Sweden leads NHL defensemen in goals (23), power-play goals (10) and game-winning goals (7) to capture the Desert Schools Leading Scorer Award.
• Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith earned 36 star points in 2014-15 to win the Ganem Jewelers Three Star Award. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Smith posted a .903 save percentage (SV%) and a goals against average of 3.18. Smith also registered a .928 SV% in 15 games since March 1.
• In his rookie season, Rieder has totaled 13-8-21 in 71 games. Entering tonight’s game, Rieder is first among Arizona forwards and third among league rookies in shots (188). His 13 goals are tied as the third-most scored by a rookie in Coyotes history. Rieder leads the Coyotes and NHL rookies with three shorthanded goals this season to win the Arizona Lottery Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy as the Coyotes’ hardest working player. Rieder was selected as the winner by fans who voted at ArizonaCoyotes.com.
• Stone earned the Gila River Casinos Man of the Year Award for his dedication, commitment and passion for bettering the lives of those in the community during his fourth season as a member of the Coyotes.
Stone was very active in the community this season supporting numerous charities including Feed my Starving Children, UMOM, Melonhead, Child Crisis Center and Homeward Bound. In addition, he was actively involved in several Coyotes youth hockey clinics as well as Future for Kids, where he personally donated hockey equipment and created a hockey program for at risk youths. Stone also created his own “Stone’s Stars” program where he sponsored multiple groups of at risk kids to attend Coyotes games and participate in postgame meet and greets.