Skip to content

‘Yotes GM happy Ekman-Larsson chose AHL over Europe: “He’s been excellent”

Nov 22, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Comments Off on ‘Yotes GM happy Ekman-Larsson chose AHL over Europe: “He’s been excellent”
Detroit Red Wings v Phoenix Coyotes - Game Four Getty Images

After his breakout 2011-12 campaign, Oliver Ekman-Larsson probably could’ve landed a lockout gig in his native Sweden, or another strong European league.

Instead, he agreed to join AHL Portland at Phoenix’s request.

The Coyotes’ brass is sure happy he did.

Ekman-Larsson has been stellar in the American league, scoring nine points in nine games — even though he missed three weeks with a sliced finger.

“It’s been really good,” GM Don Maloney said of OEL’s time in Portland. “He’s been really good and the reason for that is just his attitude. He wants to be there. He wants to improve. He’s working hard.”

Ekman-Larsson is the cornerstone of Portland’s young, gifted blueline. Others include:

— Brandon Gormley, the 13th overall pick at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

David Rundblad, the 17th overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (acquired in the Kyle Turris trade.)

Michael Stone, a third-round pick from 2008 that debuted with the ‘Yotes last season (and played in two playoff games.)

— Chris Summers, a first-round pick from 2006 who’s currently serving as Portland’s alternate captain.

The Pirates blueline also has youngsters Maxim Goncharov and Mathieu Brodeur in the mix — all told, the oldest defenseman on the team is 25.

So, no shortage of talent on defense…but with that said, Maloney recognizes Ekman-Larsson is the guy most (if not all) are focused on.

“I’ve actually seen a lot of [AHL] games in the fall, and there are players down there that have been in the NHL that have it in cruise control a bit,” Maloney said. “In OEL’s case, that’s not him.

“He’s out there to help that team win and so other than the injury, he’s been excellent and it’s been good for his continual maturation.”

Latest Posts
  1. Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:28 AM EDT

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    St. Louis couldn’t capitalize on an early lead.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Pittsburgh and Ottawa need to win to survive.

  3. Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:24 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    He didn’t get a point in the first round.

  4. Video: Prust sparks melee by spearing goalie Anderson

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:57 PM EDT

    Prust, Anderson

    Senators coach Dave Cameron called it “cheap” and a sign of frustration.

  5. It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpta0ntizmjbjndy3yti3nwe0nwfhnwy3odfjn2u2mwrm AP

    Evgeni Malkin finished the series without a point.

  6. Video: Tarasenko continues unreal run with sixth goal on nine shots

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:14 PM EDT

    Vladimir Tarasenko

    Alexander Steen played a big role in that marker.

  7. Blues without Jori Lehtera for Game 5 vs. Wild

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Jori Lehtera Getty Images

    The odds of him playing were initially “50-50.”

  8. Video: Spaling gets unusual goal as puck bounces off arm

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:59 PM EDT

    Spaling goal

    That tied Game 5 between Pittsburgh and the Rangers at 1-1.

  9. Video: Ryan snaps 16-game goal scoring slump

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryan goal

    is that the start of a breakout for him?

  10. Price, Dubnyk, Rinne are Vezina Trophy finalists

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:38 PM EDT

    Carey Price Getty Images

    The Canadiens goaltender looks like the heavy favorite.

  11. Bettman doesn’t want to give Isles fans ‘hope’ of return to Nassau County

    Apr 24, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Capitals Getty Images

    “Lots of possibilities have been thrown out about an arena for the last decade and none of them have materialized.”

  12. Chicago to start Darling in Game 6

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five

    After allowing four goals in a Game 5 loss to Nashville.

  13. Chiarelli named Oilers’ GM and president of hockey ops

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:17 PM EDT

    Chiarelli

    “In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades.”

  14. Chevy re-confirms Pavelec as Winnipeg’s No. 1

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

    Ondrej Pavelec Ondrej Pavelec

    Much like he did at the end of last year.

  15. Richardson favored to be next Buffalo coach, says oddsmaker

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    Luke Richardson 3

    Currently coaching Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

Featured video

Plenty of pressure on Blues
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2610)
  2. K. Letang (2234)
  3. S. Weber (2208)
  4. M. Fisher (2120)
  5. A. Burrows (2032)
  1. C. Ehrhoff (1904)
  2. S. Crosby (1797)
  3. M. Giordano (1731)
  4. T. Hamonic (1716)
  5. D. Carcillo (1693)