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Ekman-Larsson Absent from NHL Top Defensemen List

August 24, 2019, 1:08 PM ET [32 Comments]
James Tanner
Arizona Coyotes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Coyotes best player and all-time franchise best defenseman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, has had a rough summer.

First, he was the victim of a viscous werewolf attack at home in Sweden earlier this summer, and now he has been left off the NHL.com's list of best defenseman.




This is a terrible list.

We cannot ignore that fact. Any list of best defensemen in the NHL that doesn't feature Erik Karlsson as the #1 is not worth even discussing.

There are few things that are not at least somewhat subjective, but you've got to competently ignore a lot of compelling evidence to rank him second, let alone fourth.

This list also has Colton Parayko at 19th, and Morgan Rielly at 7th, both of which are egregiously bad rankings. Parayko, who leads the NHL in WAR/60 and was just the best player (other than Ryan O'Reilly) on a Cup winning team, should be much higher.

Top five maybe? He was better than Hedman last year.

As or Oliver Ekman-Larrson, it's hard to evaluate how good he is, since his best skill is moving the puck up the ice to create offense, but no one on his team ever scores.

He scored 44 points last year despite the fact that his team was dead last in 5v5 scoring, and had the 5th worst power-play.



How many points does he get if he's on Toronto or Tampa? 60? 110? I'm being a bit facetious obviously, but 44 points on last year's Coyotes team is pretty insane production considering the overall picture of their offense.

Ekman-Larsson probably deserves to be on this list, even if it's somewhere between 11-20. It's really hard to be a good defenseman on a bad team, and even harder to get league wide recognition when you've play in Arizona and haven't made the playoffs in eight seasons.

On that list, I'd take OEL ahead of Doughty, Subban, Pieterangelo, Trouba, Krug and Werenski, at least.

I think on the right team he could crack the top ten.

His stats haven't been the greatest, but a lot of times he's the only top-line player on his team, and that's been for a while now.

44 points on last year's Coyotes is a significant achievement.

OEL should have been in the top 20.
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