Oliver Ekman-Larsson is one of the most interesting names on the rumor mill lately, with the Arizona Coyotes destined for a finish near the bottom of the league once again. The 26-year old defenseman will be a free agent in the summer of 2019, but Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun writes that the team will have to make a decision before that.
Garrioch reports that the asking price for Ekman-Larsson right now is two high-end roster players and a first-round pick, a prohibitive package for any team really trying to compete this year. Still, the Maple Leafs, Devils and Flyers have all apparently shown interest in the defender in the past, and several other teams would surely jump in if the price dropped closer to the deadline.
- The Czech Republic released their Olympic team for the upcoming Games, including familiar NHL names like Martin Erat, Roman Cervenka and Jiri Sekac. Like the other countries, the Czech team is made up of professionals scattered across various European leagues and the KHL.
- Dylan Sikura continues to impress at Northeastern with 30 points in his first 19 games, and as Scott Powers of The Athletic writes, the Chicago Blackhawks have more than just an eye on him for the end of the season. The Blackhawks fully intend to sign Sikura and add him to the NHL roster after his NCAA career comes to an end, though depending on how far his school goes in the final tournament if could throw a wrench into those plans. Powers excellently details all the possibilities for Sikura, including waiting until August 15th to become an unrestricted free agent. Though that technically could happen still, it seems extremely unlikely that he’d do anything but sign with the Blackhawks at this point.