https://www.nhl.com/news/oliver-ekma...na/c-299027086



Oliver Ekman-Larsson has agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Arizona Coyotes, TSN reported Tuesday.

The 26-year-old defenseman, who would have become an unrestricted free agent after next season, is eligible to sign the extension July 1.

Coyotes general manager John Chayka told NHL.com on June 2 that signing Ekman-Larsson to a long-term extension was a top priority.

"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. "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."

Ekman-Larsson, who has one year remaining on the six-year contract he signed with the Coyotes on March 15, 2013, had 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 82 games this season and led them in average ice time with 23:41 per game. He has played all but 12 games during the past seven seasons.

Arizona (29-41-12) finished last in the Pacific Division under first-year coach Rick Tocchet. The Coyotes have not qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2012, when they advanced to the Western Conference Final.

Ekman-Larsson was chosen by the Coyotes with the No. 6 pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. He has 290 points (102 goals, 188 assists) in 576 games during his eight seasons in the NHL.

Ekman-Larsson said after the season he would be willing to consider an extension to stay in Arizona.

"I would obviously like to figure something out," he said April 9. "I've said it so many times. This is where I want to be. Hopefully we can work something out."