NHL Power Rankings: Top Western Conference Defensemen

By Matt Barbato
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Apr 7, 2015; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) skates against the Calgary Flames during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

8. Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Ekman-Larsson is one of the few bright spots on an overall abysmal Arizona Coyotes team. OEL scored 23 goals with 20 assists and finished 10th in the NHL with an average of 25:12 ice time per game last season.

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Ekman-Larsson is primarily a goal scorer, but he can hold his own defensively, too. The majority of his zone starts came on the offensive side, but it wasn’t by an overwhelming margin. Also, Ekman-Larsson is a capable possession player with a 52.60 Corsi-for percentage last season.

The best part about OEL is he is in the early stages of his prime. He can be relied upon as an offensive threat while also being a dependable defender. It’s just a shame he’s stuck in a brutal situation in Arizona.

Next: Who's No. 7?

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