Maple Leafs sign Oliver Ekman-Larsson to 4-year contract worth $3.5M AAV

Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Nation World HQ
12 days ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Stanley Cup-winning defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a four-year contract worth $3.5 million average annual value (AAV). The 32-year-old spent the past season with the Florida Panthers, where he registered nine goals, 23 assists, and a plus-minus of +10 in 80 games during the 2023-24 campaign.
Ekman-Larsson now returns north of the border, having previously played for the Vancouver Canucks. His tenure with the Canucks was less successful, culminating in a buyout last June after a disappointing season. The buyout led to him signing with the Panthers on a one-year deal with a cap hit of $2.25 million, where he rebounded with a solid performance that contributed to the Panthers’ success.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Ekman-Larsson’s new contract with the Maple Leafs includes a 16-team no-trade clause, giving him some control over his future movements. This move sees him joining a Leafs defensive core that already features Morgan Rielly, Timothy Liljegren, and fellow new signee Chris Tanev, also a former Canuck.
Drafted sixth overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2009, Ekman-Larsson has enjoyed a prolific NHL career, highlighted by a career-high 55-point campaign in the 2015-16 season. Over his 14 seasons in the league, he has accumulated 144 goals and 327 assists in 982 games, showcasing his offensive prowess and defensive reliability.
Ekman-Larsson’s signing adds depth and experience to the Maple Leafs’ blue line as they hope to build on their recent playoff berths and make a deeper run. His experience and leadership will be valuable to a team looking to solidify its defensive unit and bring stability to their back end.
In addition to Ekman-Larsson, the Maple Leafs have bolstered their goaltending by signing his Panther teammate Anthony Stolarz to a two-year contract. As reported by Dreger, the deal carries an average annual value in the mid-$2 million range. Stolarz, 30, posted impressive numbers last season with a .925 save percentage and a 2.02 goals-against average in 27 appearances with the Panthers.
The NHL free agency window officially opened at noon today, with contracts being officially announced as of 12 pm ET.

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