Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson eyes shutdown role

Oliver Eckman-Larsson models his play after former Red Wings defenceman Niklas Lidstrom....

Oliver Eckman-Larsson models his play after former Red Wings defenceman Niklas Lidstrom. (Reuters/Files)

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:46 PM ET

EDMONTON - Oliver Ekman-Larsson wants to take his game to the next level.

That’s pretty impressive, considering how far the Phoenix Coyotes defenceman has already come.

In his fourth year, Ekman-Larsson is considered one of the best up-and-coming defencemen in the NHL. He’s the Coyotes’ top blue-liner, leading their defence in scoring and logging almost 26 minutes of ice-time a night.

“He’s a smart player with real, good skill and a skill package of puck-playing, defending, skating, all of the above,” said Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett. “He’s a young player that is continuing to improve with all the experience he’s getting. He’s a really good all-around player.”

Selected sixth overall by the Coyotes in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Ekman-Larsson made an immediate impact with the team.

The Tingsryd, Sweden, product scored 13 goals and collected 32 points in his first full season with the Coyotes. He had three goals and 24 points in the lockout-shortened season last y


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