During the NHL lockout, Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been the Coyotes' best defenseman at their triple A affiliate in Portland, Maine, according to Phoenix general manager Don Maloney.
Ekman-Larsson missed about three weeks with a cut on his finger, Maloney said, but the Coyotes are happy with the decision to send him to the AHL instead of letting him spend the lockout in Europe. "It's been really good, and he's been really good and the reason for that is just his attitude," Maloney said. "He wants to be there. He wants to improve. He's working hard. I've actually seen a lot of American games in the fall, and there are players down there that have been in the NHL that have it in cruise control a bit. In OEL's case, that's not him. He's out there to help that team win and so other than the injury, he's been excellent and it's been good for his continual maturation."