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2015 IIHF World Championship: OEL is internationally awesome

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There is no place in the world where Oliver Ekman-Larsson can't shine.

Team Canada has that effect on a lot of people. Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Team Canada has that effect on a lot of people. Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Martin Rose/Getty Images

While 2011-12 may have been Oliver Ekman-Larsson's prime-time debut, 2014-15 has been his coming out party.

After tying a franchise record for most goals by a Winnipeg Jets/Arizona Coyotes defenseman in a single season with 23, OEL is off to a great start in two games worth of action at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Ekman-Larsson's two games with Sweden have been eventful ones. He tallied the game-winning shootout goal in a lively back-and-forth affair between the Swedes and the host nation Czech Republic.

Sweden would not play again until early morning (Arizona time) May 3rd, and Ekman-Larsson built off of his heroic performance in the opener. OEL would log two assists in Sweden's 6-1 victory over Team Austria, all while playing more minutes than anybody else on his team.

IIHF Statistics - 1 goal, 2 assists in 2 GP

Tobias Rieder

The Germans have played only one game at the IIHF World Championship thus far, and Tobias Rieder managed to find the score-sheet in a low scoring 2-1 victory over France.

Rieder would record the primary assist on the opening goal of the game in his second appearance at the World Championship. He has already matched his point total from last year's tournament, but was unable to improve upon it as Team Canada decided it wanted to lead the Championship in goal differential by pounding the Germans 10-0.

IIHF Statistics - 0 goals, 1 assist in 2 GP

Mike Smith

Mike Smith stopped 16 of 17 shots in Canada's opening 6-1 victory over Latvia. As a goaltender, Smith is not likely to play every single game of the preliminary round (Martin Jones of Los Angeles played Canada's second preliminary game), but his first game should go a long way towards convincing Todd McLellan that Smith is a viable option in the medal round.

IIHF Statistics - 1-0-0, .941 SV%, 1.00 GAA in 1 appearance

Connor Murphy

Team USA has more Coyotes than anybody else at the tournament, and thus far Murphy is not lighting up the scoresheet. The Americans are off to a 2-0-0 start thus far, but Murphy has not recorded a point in either of the team's two contests. His next opportunity will be May 4th, when Murphy and the Americans play Russia.

IIHF Statistics - 0 points in 2 GP

John Moore

Moore is another defenseman looking for his first point on the tournament. His fortunes - as well as that of Connor Murphy - will likely rise and fall together, as the two have been defensive partners for the first two games of the tournament. How long Todd Richards keeps them together remains to be seen, especially if they are not producing points.

IIHF Statistics - 0 points in 2 GP

Mark Arcobello

After a tremendous 2014-15 season, Mark Arcobello may have left his prolific goal scoring behind in the States. He too is pointless in two games thus far, despite the fact that Team USA has scored seven goals between both contests. He was also on the ice for Norway's lone goal in a tight 2-1 American victory, so Arcobello will need to be better.

IIHF Statistics - 0 points in 2 GP

Martin Erat

The Czech winger surprisingly managed to contribute no points in the host nation's opening 6-5 shootout loss, but did take a penalty that led to a Swedish power play goal in the first period.

His second time out - a 4-2 victory versus Latvia - was a far more productive affair. Erat was assist on the game tying power play goal and the game winning power play goal. The Czechs will face a tough test in their next game on May 4th when they play Canada.

IIHF Statistics - 0 goals, 2 assists in 2 GP

Viktor Tikhonov

The Coyotes' first-round pick has spent the majority of his professional career overseas, but is rumored to be eyeing a return to the NHL. In limited action in the Czech Republic, Tikhonov has been hit or miss. He scored once and assisted once in Russia's opening 6-2 victory against Norway, but was a ghastly -3 in a 5-3 victory over Slovenia.

Tikhonov's next game will be against the Americans tomorrow, and he will need to find some two-way consistency if he wants to make a positive impression on NHL scouts over in Eastern Europe.

IIHF Statistics - 1 goal, 1 assist in 2 GP

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Be sure to check back here at Five For Howling throughout the IIHF World Championship for updates on how all of the participating Arizona Coyotes are doing. Our next report will be this Wednesday.