Oliver Ekman-Larsson is quietly having a Norris Trophy caliber season for the Phoenix Coyotes and unsurprisingly the team wants to keep him around a while. They'll do just that as the Coyotes have announced the club has signed Ekman-Larsson to a new six-year contract.
“Oliver is an exceptional young player who will continue to improve as he matures,” Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said in a team release. “He is an important part of our future and we are pleased to have agreed on a long term contract.”
Ekman-Larsson had been playing in the last year on his entry-level contract. The new deal will keep the budding star with the franchise that selected him sixth overall in 2009.
TSN's Darren Dreger filled in the blanks:
Ekman-Larsson. 6 year ext. 5.5 AAV— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 16, 2013
That's $33 million over the life of the deal, which is a very manageable contract and cap hit for a player that's only beginning to realize his vast potential.
The 21-year-old Swedish defenseman has 17 points in 27 games this season and is logging a lot of ice at his young age, averaging over 25 minutes a night. He appeared in all 82 games last season and put up 32 points.
Ekman-Larsson's youth and already stellar play makes this signing an important one for the Coyotes' future.