The NHL announced the rosters for the upcoming 2015 All-Star Game on Saturday and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been selected to represent the Arizona Coyotes. This will be his first All-Star game of his young career and he will be the 42nd All-Star in franchise history.
Ekman-Larsson was drafted by Arizona sixth overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has become one of Arizona’s best and most valuable players. He is also quickly becoming one of the best young defensemen in the entire NHL.
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At only the age of 23, Ekman-Larsson has accomplished a lot. In 2010 he participated in the World Junior Championship representing his home country of Sweden. In that tournament, he was the highest scoring defenseman on his team picking up five points in only six games.
In 2014 he represented Sweden in the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia. He helped Sweden take home a silver medal registering three points with three assists in six games.
His young NHL career has been very successful as well. With Arizona, he has registered 43 goals, 87 assists and 130 points in only 298 games. In the current season (2014-15) Ekman-Larsson has 11 goals, eight assists and 19 points in only 40 games played.
His 11 goals for the year are tied for the team lead. He leads the NHL with six game winning goals so far. He also has the league lead among all NHL defensemen with eight power play goals on the year.
To make this accomplishment even better, he was actually a minus 15 for the first two months of the season. His hard work has paid off and he’s turned his season around and the NHL All-Star selection is proof of that.
"In an interview with the Arizona Coyotes, Ekman-Larsson said, “Obviously, it’s a big honor to go to the All-Star Game and just be around the best players in this league.”"
You can see Ekman-Larsson and the rest of the best the NHL has to offer in action at the All-Star Game on Sunday Jan. 25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.