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Coyotes name Oliver Ekman-Larsson captain

The Arizona Coyotes have officially named Oliver Ekman-Larsson the fourth Captain in Coyotes history.

In what is probably the least surprising story of the Coyotes offseason, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been named captain. While the Coyotes went without a captain last season, it seemed unlikely that they would repeat that this season, and today they made it official.

The Coyotes originally drafted Ekman-Larsson sixth overall during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Since his debut in the 2010-11 season he has played in 576 games for the Coyotes and scored 102 goals and 188 assists.

Ekman-Larsson is the fourth captain since the franchise moved to Arizona. Keith Tkachuk, Teppo Numminen, and, of course, Shane Doan have all worn the C for the Coyotes in the desert. When the Coyotes informed Doan that he wasn’t going to be re-signed it was reported that the OEL would be named the captain, but when Rick Tocchet came in the decision was made to have multiple players serve as alternate captains.

Looking back it seemed like Oliver Ekman-Larsson was being groomed to be captain since he was drafted. One moment that stands out as evidence of his commitment to the team happened during the last lockout when OEL spent time playing with the Portland Pirates in the AHL instead of traveling overseas to Europe like many players did. Ekman-Larsson could have made more money while being closer to home in Europe, but he stayed with the organization and played 20 games with the Pirates. Once his 8 year, $66 million dollar deal was signed his promotion to captain seemed like only a matter of time.

Read the full story at Five for Howling.