Phoenix Coyotes defenseman and Swedish Olympian Oliver Ekman-Larsson will return to the lineup on Thursday when the team plays the Minnesota Wild, as confirmed by head coach Dave Tippett via the team's official Twitter account. Ekman-Larsson has missed two games following a hit from Blue Jackets' Derek MacKenzie. He had played only 4:07 before leaving the game. MacKenzie was later suspended for the hit.
The young defenseman is having a stellar season so far, with four goals and 18 assists in 40 games played. He's averaging 24:38 TOI and sees both powerplay and penalty kill minutes. The team went 1-1 during the two games Ekman-Larsson missed, a 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and a big 6-0 win against the Calgary Flames.
Expect either Michael Stone or David Schlemko to be removed from the lineup to make room for Ekman-Larsson's return.
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