GLENDALE - Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who led the Coyotes in point production the past two seasons, reported to training camp on Friday morning after playing for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey. The alternate captain led the stretch for the team's first of two practices at Gila River Arena.
Ekman-Larsson did not notch a point in four World Cup games, but he said he enjoyed playing for his home country in the prestigious event. He was paired primarily with Chicago's Niklas Hjalmarsson, but he also played with pal Erik Karlsson on power plays.
"I had a lot of fun," Ekman-Larsson said. "It was a good experience for me to play in Toronto where hockey is big and everybody is talking about hockey."
Ekman-Larsson notched 21 goals and career highs in assists (34) and points (55) last season, his fifth full season in the NHL. He also set an NHL record for most game-winning goals (eight) in a season by a defenseman.
Ekman-Larsson is not expected to play in either preseason game this weekend, but he will travel with the Coyotes to Western Canada on Sunday and likely play at Vancouver and/or at Calgary next week.
"I feel great," Ekman-Larsson said. "Obviously it will take some time to feel good again (on the ice) after taking two days off … I'm super excited to be around the guys again and to get ready for this new season."