Reports have yet to be confirmed by the Arizona Coyotes or the Tucson Roadrunners, but word has gotten out that the Pacific Division club is looking to bring the younger brother of star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson on board at the AHL level for the upcoming season.
Reports suggest that Kevin Ekman-Larsson, who has been skating for HockeyAllsvenskan’s Tingsryds AIF for the majority of his career, will join the AHL’s Roadrunners on what is believed to be a minor league deal for the 2017-18 season. He would not be eligible to skate up at the NHL level on a minor league contract.
A native of Karlskrona, Sweden, Kevin Ekman-Larsson stands at just 5-foot-11 and 168 pounds. He’s been able to skate out at the Swedish tier-II level over the last few years, putting up 11 points over 80 games in the last two seasons. If there’s a chance he’ll be able to transition to the North American minor league level, especially with the chance to play just a few hours south of his older brother, this could be a good fit.
The elder Ekman-Larsson is one of the most talented pieces in Arizona’s system, putting up two consecutive 20-plus goal seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16. This past year, he was able to produce 12 goals and 39 points in a shortened 79-game season, before taking a person leave of absence to return to Sweden upon the death of his mother. Despite failing to complete a full 82-game campaign, he still finished second in scoring on the roster.