FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, September 13, 2018
GLENDALE, ARIZONA -- Arizona Coyotes President of Hockey Operations and General Manager John Chayka and Head Coach Rick Tocchet announced today that defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been named as the Coyotes' new team captain. Ekman-Larsson becomes the fourth captain in Coyotes' history (Keith Tkachuk, Teppo Numminen and Shane Doan). He previously served as an alternate captain the last four seasons (2014-15 to 2017-18).
"Oliver is a tremendous player and person," said Chayka. "On the ice, he leads by example and is one of the game's premier defensemen. Off the ice, he is greatly admired and respected by his teammates, coaches and training staff and is also one of our most active players in the community. He is loyal, the consummate professional and a fierce competitor and I'm confident that he'll be an excellent captain for the Coyotes for many years to come."
"Oliver really stepped up last season and proved to me that he's an excellent leader," said Tocchet. "He's an elite defenseman and I love the way that he battles and competes each game. He's got great character and his teammates respect him. He'll be a great captain for us and I'm very happy for O. He's earned this."
Ekman-Larsson led the Coyotes to the 2012 Western Conference Final and is a two-time NHL All-Star (2018, 2015). The 27-year old native of Karlskrona, Sweden has registered 102-188-290 and 360 penalty minutes (PIM) in 576 career games with the Coyotes. Last season, he became the sixth NHL defenseman from Sweden to score 100 goals and the second defenseman (Teppo Numminen) and the 18th player in franchise history to score 100 goals with the team. He is only six goals shy of tying Numminen for the most goals by a defenseman in franchise history (108).
"I'm extremely honored to be named captain of the Arizona Coyotes," said Ekman Larsson. "I'm grateful for this opportunity and want to thank John and Toc for believing in me. It's an honor and a privilege to be a captain in the NHL and I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead. We have a lot of great leaders in our room and together, we will work hard to achieve our goal of becoming a perennial playoff team."
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Ekman-Larsson holds the NHL record for most game-winning goals (GWG) in a season by a defenseman with eight during the 2015-16 campaign. In addition, his 36 power-play goals since 2014 lead all NHL defensemen. He has scored 10 or more goals the last five seasons and is just the second defenseman in franchise history (Dave Ellett - 1984/85-1989/90) and the fourth Swedish defenseman in NHL history (Nicklas Lidstrom (2), Borje Salming and Victor Hedman) to accomplish this feat.
Ekman-Larsson was drafted by the Coyotes in the first round (6th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
PREVIOUS COYOTES CAPTAINS
Keith Tkachuk - 1996 - 2001
Teppo Numminen - 2001 - 2003
Shane Doan - 2003 - 2017
*Ed Jovanovski served as captain for five games during the 2010-11 season while Shane Doan was injured.