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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Oliver Ekman Larsson

Oliver Oscar Emanuel Ekman-Larsson (born 17 July 1991) is a Swedish professional ice hockey player who is currently playing for the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Ekman-Larsson’s maternal grandfather Kenneth Ekman, also a defenceman, was selected to the Swedish team for the 1972 Olympics. Swedish international footballer Amanda Ilestedt is Ekman-Larsson’s cousin.

He was selected sixth overall by Phoenix in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. On May 24, 2010, it was announced that the Coyotes had signed Ekman-Larsson to an entry-level contract.

In the season following his draft selection, Ekman-Larsson produced the second most points among junior players in Allsvenskan despite missing several games while competing in the 2010 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Oliver’s first NHL point was an assist on a goal by Kyle Turris on October 23, 2010. He scored his first goal on January 17, 2011 against Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks. For the duration of the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Ekman-Larsson on the last year of his entry level contract was assigned to AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates.

Ekman-Larsson represented Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championships, where he was the highest scoring defenceman on his team with 5 points in 6 games. At the 2010 World Championships, Ekman-Larsson played in nine games for the bronze medalists and was deemed to be Sweden’s best player in the game against Norway.