Player News - Coyotes

Date: Team: Pos:

Arizona Coyotes' General Manager Don Maloney believes Oliver Ekman-Larsson could be one of the best players in the entire NHL.

"You can see he's not only a star now but he has a chance to be one of the best players in the NHL for a long time," said Maloney. That is some high praise from Arizona's GM. The 23-year-old had a strong year in 2013-14, scoring 44 points in 80 games, but 2014-15 hasn't gone as well for him. Ekman-Larsson is on pace to score 37 points but he has a plus/minus rating of minus-15 through 46 games. The low rating has more to do with the team surrounding him. Ekman-Larsson does have immense potential.
Jan 25 - 3:22 PM

Oliver Ekman-Larsson has really turned his game around of late after a slow start to the season.

Ekman-Larsson is tied for the NHL lead in goals by a defenseman with 12 and has 21 points with a minus-15 rating in 46 games on a poor Arizona team but was minus-13 in his first 11 games, so he has played well since. He has eight power play goals to lead all defensemen. "Some of the adversity that he's faced early on in the year — he didn't play very well — those are all learning experiences that he'll go through that will make him a much better player," coach Dave Tippett said. "He wants to be that consistent, top player. You go through some adversity like that, you learn how to deal with those and make sure you're prepared every night." The 23-year-old is a stud defenseman who gets little recognition because he plays in the desert.
Jan 25 - 6:56 AM

Oliver Ekman-Larsson helped Team Foligno seal their 25-19 win in the NHL All-Star skills competition over Team Toews with two goals in the shootout event.

OEL, who beat Roberto Luongo on both goals, also showed off his slick stick handling during the skills challenge relay, deftly controlling the puck through a serious of pucks set in a line. One of the highlights of this one was Luongo’s sprawling save on on a dangle from Jiri Sekac. Team Foligno's win was never in doubt in this one, but the real thing comes Sunday. The All-Star Game will be held at 5 p.m ET.
Jan 24 - 9:30 PM

Mike McKenna has been called up by the Arizona Coyotes.

Goaltender Mike Lee was simultaneously sent to the minors. McKenna has a 2.09 GAA and .934 save percentage in 32 AHL contests. It's possible that he'll serve as the Coyotes' backup goaltender going forward, but given the timing of this move, the more likely scenario is that Lee will be recalled after the All-Star break and McKenna will return to AHL Portland.
Jan 21 - 1:08 PM

Brandon Gormley has been sent to AHL Portland.

Gormley has two goals and three points in 15 games with Arizona. This move might be temporary as Arizona wanted to move players to the minors in light of the All-Star break.
Jan 21 - 1:05 PM

The Arizona Coyotes have sent Philip Samuelsson to AHL Portland.

Samuelsson has seven points and 34 penalty minutes in 38 AHL contests in 2014-15. There's no point in keeping him on Arizona's roster right now as the Coyotes aren't scheduled to play until Jan. 27.
Jan 21 - 1:03 PM

Lucas Lessio has been sent to the minors.

Lessio might be recalled in time for Arizona's next game on Jan. 27. He has a goal and an assist in nine contests with the Coyotes.
Jan 21 - 1:02 PM

Mike Lee has been sent to AHL Portland.

The Coyotes are off for a week due to the All-Star break, so they sent several players to the minors. This gives Lee an opportunity to get some ice time in the minors as he's likely not going to play much as Mike Smith's understudy.
Jan 21 - 1:00 PM

Keith Yandle registered an assist in a 6-1 defeat against Chicago.

Yandle is on a four-game point streak. With four goals and 30 points in 46 games, he's one of the few bright spots on the Coyotes this season.
Jan 21 - 10:16 AM

Sam Gagner had an assist in a 6-1 loss on Tuesday.

Gagner went four games without a point. He has a lackluster seven goals and 22 points in 45 contests in 2014-15. Don't count on Gagner picking up the pace after the All-Star break.
Jan 21 - 10:15 AM

Lucas Lessio scored the only Arizona goal in a 6-1 trouncing at the hands of the Blackhawks Tuesday.

Lessio has been a reliable scorer at the AHL level, but has yet to see that translate to the NHL game. Given the struggles experienced by the Coyotes, he should receive every opportunity to find his game at the highest level.
Jan 21 - 2:04 AM

Mike Smith and the Coyotes were relentlessly attacked by the Blackhawks on Tuesday en route to a 6-1 loss.

Smith ceded six goals to the Hawks on a whopping 51 shots, proving how busy he was throughout the contest. The Arizona netminder has been a nightmare for fantasy owners of late, combining poor results with the fact he receives a ton of playing time. His record is now 7-21-3 while his GAA is 3.60 and his save percentage is .887.
Jan 21 - 2:02 AM

Lucas Lessio and BJ Crombeen will flank the fourth line Tuesday night against Chicago.

Lessio's an intriguing talent with 72 points in 90 career AHL games, but he's found the net just once in 11 NHL games. Crombeen meanwhile has 48 PIMs and 35 hits in 31 games this season. They'll skate on either side of Joe Vitale.
Jan 20 - 8:06 PM

Tobias Rieder will skate on the first line to the left of Antoine Vermette and Shane Doan in Tuesday's tilt with Chicago.

The rookie Rieder has had a good season and is being rewarded for his work. Through 35 games he has six goals and a dozen points with 54 hits.
Jan 20 - 8:03 PM

Martin Erat and Chris Summers will be scratched against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

With just six goals, 19 points, 36 PIMs, and 54 hits through 44 games, Erat cannot be recommended for your roster. Summers has just three points, eight penalty minutes, and 39 hits through 16 games this season himself. There are better options out there.
Jan 20 - 8:00 PM

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