Oliver Ekman-Larsson's second time around with the Phoenix Coyotes is ending much sooner than the first one did. After playing in 14 games to open the season, Ekman-Larsson played just one game, adding an assist in the Coyotes' 5-0 against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
The initial thought following the game was that Ekman-Larsson could see more time after a solid performance that included that assist and a plus-1 rating, while logging almost 20 minutes of ice time. However, a healthy defense meant that Ekman-Larsson was the odd man out.
Both Ed Jovanovski and Adrian Aucoin are both expected to return from their various ailments on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks. Jovo reportedly had a case of the flu, while Aucoin has missed Phoenix's last two games with a lower-body injury. Pile their returns on top of the steady play of Nolan Yonkman and Sami Lepisto, and there just wasn't room for OEL on the blue line.
If there's a positive for Ekman-Larsson to take from this, it's that the Coyotes' top defenseman are old. This kid has a bright future in the Coyotes organization, and there's little doubt that we'll see him up here again soon.