FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sunday, July 1, 2018
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Arizona Coyotes President of Hockey Operations & General Manager John Chayka announced today that the Coyotes have signed defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"We're thrilled to sign Oliver and have him with us in the Valley for the next eight years," said Coyotes' Owner, Chairman and Governor Andrew Barroway. "Oliver is an incredible player and we believe in him and look forward to watching our team grow and develop under his guidance. It's a great day for Coyotes fans and a great day for our organization."
"Oliver is one of the NHL's premier defenseman and we are ecstatic to have him signed for the long-term," said Chayka. "He's a special player and person and we want to build our team around him. You can't win in this League without a star, elite defenseman and we're fortunate to have that in OEL. We look forward to many years ahead with him as our leader on and off the ice."
"This is a very happy day for me and my family," said Ekman-Larsson. "I have always loved living and playing in Arizona and this is where I want to be. I signed with the Coyotes because I believe in our team, I believe in our fans and I believe in this market and I want to win here. I'm very grateful to Andrew Barroway, John Chayka and Rick Tocchet for showing great confidence in me. I can't wait for the season to begin."
Video: OEL: Eight More Years
The 26-year-old defenseman recorded 14-28-42 and 44 penalty minutes (PIM) in 82 games with Arizona last season. He finished fourth on the team in points, third in assists and tied-fourth in goals. He led the Coyotes in time-on-ice/game (TOI/G) with 23:40 and co-led the team with six power-play goals (PPGs) and three game-winning goals (GWGs). Ekman-Larsson ranked first among Arizona defensemen in goals, assists, points and shots.
The Karlskrona, Sweden native represented the Coyotes at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in Tampa Bay. He became the seventh defenseman in franchise history to make multiple All-Star appearances with the team.
Ekman-Larsson has totaled 102-188-290 in 576 career games with the Coyotes. He is now second on the franchise's all-time defensemen goals list (102) and is second in Arizona history for points by a defenseman (290).
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman scored his 100th career goal on March 19, 2018 vs. the Calgary Flames to become just the sixth defenseman from Sweden to score 100 career goals. He is also only the second blueliner and the 18th player in franchise history to net 100 goals with the team. Ekman-Larsson has scored 10 or more goals in each of the previous five seasons.
Since 2014-15, Ekman-Larsson leads NHL defensemen in PPGs (36) and game-winning goals (19). His 70 goals since the start of 2014-15 rank second among League blueliners.
Video: Chayka: OEL a 'Superstar On and Off Ice'
Ekman-Larsson helped Sweden win its second consecutive gold medal at the 2018 IIHF World Championship in May. He recorded 2-5-7 in 10 games and led the Swedes in TOI (245:49) and TOI/G (24:34). He was one of four Swedes named to the tournament's All-Star team.
Ekman-Larsson was originally drafted by the Coyotes in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2009 Entry Draft.