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Coyotes’ Keller receives All-Star endorsement from Ekman-Larsson

(AP Photo)
LISTEN: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes defenseman

Young players dream of playing in an All-Star Game from the time they pick up a stick. Oliver Ekman-Larsson believes the dreams of one more player should have come true.

Teams for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game were announced Wednesday. Among the players chosen, Ekman-Larsson was selected to represent the Arizona Coyotes.

However, the defenseman didn’t believe he would make the cut.

“I didn’t think that I was going to be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve had the best season so far yet, but at the same time every time you get the chance to go to the All-Star Game you should be proud and happy,” Ekman-Larsson told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

In his eighth season, Ekman-Larsson has six goals and 13 assists with the Coyotes. As a result of Shane Doan’s retirement, Ekman-Larsson has transitioned to a bigger leadership role.

When asked who he would pick as the Coyotes representative, Ekman-Larsson told Bickley & Marotta he would choose rookie Clayton Keller.

“He’s having an unbelievable year. His first year in the league and we can tell that he’s going to be a superstar in this league,” Ekman-Larsson told Bickley & Marotta. “He’s a really good player and he’s been having some good games but obviously it’s tough to come up as an 18-, 19-year-old and he seems to be really good. I think he’s going to get even better.”

Arizona is currently 10-27-6 and has the fewest points in the NHL under first-year coach Rick Tocchet. However, Keller has adjusted well in his first year, recording 32 points (third among rookies) in 43 games.

The Boston University product is in the thick of the Calder Memorial Trophy race and an endorsement from Ekman-Larsson is another promising sign of what’s to come from him.

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