Team Sweden of the IIHF World Championship will be captained this year by Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the team announced Wednesday.
Ekman-Larsson just finished his first season as the captain of the NHL’s Coyotes, taking the “C” worn previously by Shane Doan.
The IIHF’s tournament site doesn’t officially list Sweden’s full roster yet, but the team’s Twitter account indicates that Ekman-Larsson will lead a squad expected to include Maple Leafs winger William Nylander, Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson, Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm, Flames center Elias Lindholm and Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist.
Ekman-Larsson was an alternate captain for Sweden last year. Flames forward Mikael Backlund was the captain.
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At last year’s IIHF World Championship, Sweden won its 11th title and second in a row by defeating Switzerland in the final.
This season, Ekman-Larsson scored 14 goals with 30 assists for 44 points, the second-most on the Coyotes behind Clayton Keller, who had 47 points. Ekman-Larsson’s 4.6 relative Corsi-for percentage was the highest on the Coyotes among players who played at least 50 games, and his 23:39 average time on ice was the highest among all Arizona skaters.
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