Ekman-Larsson will represent Sweden at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, which runs May 4-20 in Denmark. While the 26-year-old posted a minus-28 rating on a team chock full of less experienced players, Ekman-Larsson did nothing to dent his reputation as a premier offensive weapon from the Coyotes blue line, as he notched 14 goals and 28 assists over a full season in 2017-18. He's also a mainstay on the man advantage, having reached double-digit point totals in that spot in each of the past five seasons, so consider targeting 2009's sixth overall draft pick in the early-to-middle rounds of fantasy drafts this fall.
Ekman-Larsson scored the game-winner and an insurance marker in a 5-2 win over Calgary on Monday. Ekman-Larsson got an opportunity after the Flames had to pull Mike Smith for the extra man, and he took advantage of it with an empty-netter to go with his game-winner. They all count the same in fantasy, though, and the suddenly hot Ekman-Larsson now has five goals in March. He's closing the year strong and should be in your lineup to take advantage of this late outburst.
Ekman-Larsson was fined $5,000 on Saturday for slashing Sven Andrighetto. Five grand is the maximum fine allowed under the CBA, so Ekman-Larsson is having to pay a pretty penny for his transgression. However, the key here for fantasy players is that he wasn't suspended for his act. That means the Swede will be in action Sunday against the Canucks.
Ekman-Larsson scored a goal during a 2-1 victory over the Senators on Saturday. It was nice to see Ekman-Larsson find the back of the net for the first time since mid-January, but it's probably too late for the 26-year-old to salvage his season. He still only has nine goals, which is his worst total since the 2012-13 lockout season, but even worse, Ekman-Larsson owns a league-low minus-35 rating. He's posted a negative rating four straight seasons, so that's not a surprise, but owners weren't expecting to account for that bad of a plus/minus. Combined that with fewer goals, and Ekman-Larsson is one of the biggest fantasy disappointments of 2017-18.
Ekman-Larsson racked up three assists, including two on the power play, in Thursday's win over Montreal. Ekman-Larsson has been more engaged offensively of late and is now up to 28 points in 58 games on the season. His minus-37 rating is a disaster, but the 26-year-old is finding ways to contribute with his playmaking ability. If you can look past his plus-minus, Ekman-Larsson's strong offensive play of late indicates he's in for a strong finish.
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