article

Possibly the most underrated defenseman in the NHL.

Hidden gem in the Desert

Share on Facebook

Playing in the Western conference can often leave you with less coverage than most. Especially for teams with the time change. Also, if your team hasn't had the greatest of years, the coverage can even be less. This is the case with the Arizona Coyotes. Constantly in the news for anything other than their on ice performance, they have a gem playing on defense.

His name, Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He is easily one of the leagues best defenseman but rarely gets any credit and it not often talked about. However, he constantly puts up points for the Coyotes and fills the net better than most defensemen in the league. Last night he had another big game for the Coyotes. He had 3 points and scored his 17th goal of the season. He is currently 4th in scoring for defensemen with 44 points and is second to only Brent Burns for goals by a defensman who has 18.

Last season he led the league in goals by a defenseman with 23 and the season before that he was 6th with 15. He really has a knack for putting the puck past opposing goaltenders and he is only 24. If the pace continues, he could pass his career high of 23 goals he had last season. Not very often you see a defenseman put up back to back 20 goal seasons. Half the forwards in the league have trouble doing that.

All of this considering he is on a Coyotes team that hasn't really done much as of late but with some solid youngsters in their lineup, including Ekman-Larsson, people are going to have to start taking notice.