The Arizona Coyotes are discussing a long-term contract extension with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes’ general manager John Chayka said on Saturday.
Ekman-Larsson, who is eligible to sign a new deal on July 1st, can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.
“We’ve been very clear that we’re willing to do whatever we possibly can to have him come back, and [we] think he’s a heck of a defenseman, heck of a player, heck of a person,” Chayka said at the 2018 NHL Scouting Combine (h/t NHL.com).
“Really believe in him and what he can bring to our team. Trying to get something done to lock him up long, long term. Build around him and really put together a team he deserves.
“He’s had some hard times and we feel we can really surround him with the best people and the best players so that he can show what he’s capable of.”
Chayka said he’s not considering trading Ekman-Larsson and stated that there is currently no deadline to get him signed.
“Right now we’re just focused on getting him signed,”Chayka said. “Feel like we’ve had some good discussions. He’s a big part of what we’re doing. That’s my focus right now.”
Ekman-Larsson ha stated that he would like to remain in Arizona long-term.
Ekman-Larsson scored 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 82 games last season for Arizona.
Coyotes’ Barrett Hayton To Start Season with Team
“Everything we thought and expected (about Hayton) has come true,” Arizona general manager John Chayka said, according to theScore’s John Matisz. “He’s one of those guys who you think will keep getting better and better every single day. He does a lot of good things, makes his teammates better, and came into camp and did a nice job. He’s going to start off on our opening day roster and we’re just going to take it day by day here.”
“He’s a premium person, (a) premium player, playing a premium position,” Chayka said. “He’s a foundational piece for us. We think he’s a complete 200-foot center.”
Hayton, the young center who who considered a surprise draft pick during the 2018 NHL draft, was held scoreless in two preseason appearances.
Coyotes Sign Oliver Ekman-Larsson To Contract Extension
Ekman-Larsson’s new deal carries an average annual value of $8.25M, according to 98.7 Arizona Sports’ Craig Morgan.
Ekman-Larsson, 26, was entering the final year of his six-year, #44M deal that he inked with Arizona back in 2013 and is coming off a season in which he scored 42 points in all 82 games for the Yotes.
Coyotes, Niklas Hjalmarsson Agree To Extension
Hjalmarsson, 31, was acquired last offseason from the Chicago Blackhawks to provide a veteran presence to Arizona’s defensive core.
Hjalmarsson was in the final year of a five-year, $20.5M deal he inked with Chicago back in 2013.
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