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Coyotes officially sign Oliver Ekman-Larsson to 8-year extension

(AP Photo)

The Arizona Coyotes have officially signed defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to an eight-year contract extension, the tam announced Sunday.

Ekman-Larsson has one year remaining on a six-year, $33 million deal that began in the 2013-14 season and will pay him $7 million in salary for the 2018-19 season.

With the extension, the defenseman will now have an $8.25 million annual salary. The new contract will officially kick in for the 2019-20 season.

The Coyotes and Ekman-Larsson had originally agreed to the extension in early June, but it could not be signed until Sunday, the official start of NHL free agency per the CBA.

“Oliver is one of the NHL’s premier defenseman and we are ecstatic to have him signed for the long-term,” Coyotes general manager John Chayka said in a release. “He’s a special player and person and we want to build our team around him.

“You can’t win in this League without a star, elite defenseman and we’re fortunate to have that in OEL. We look forward to many years ahead with him as our leader on and off the ice.”

Ekman-Larsson had 42 points (14 goals, 28 assists) in 82 games last season.

He had six goals and 13 assists over the final two months — along with three April games — with a plus-eight rating.

With the extension, the 26-year-old will now be under contract in Arizona through the 2027 season.

“This is a very happy day for me and my family,” Ekman-Larsson said in a release. “I have always loved living and playing in Arizona and this is where I want to be. I signed with the Coyotes because I believe in our team, I believe in our fans and I believe in this market and I want to win here.

“I’m very grateful to Andrew Barroway, John Chayka and Rick Tocchet for showing great confidence in me. I can’t wait for the season to begin.”

He isn’t the only defenseman that is expected to have a new deal with the Coyotes on Sunday, as Niklas Hjalmarsson also agreed in principal to a contract extension.

According to 98.7 Fm Arizona’s Sports Station’s Craig Morgan, Hjalmarsson’s extension will be for two years with an annual salary of $5 million.

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