With the 107th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, the Arizona Coyotes selected overage defenseman Emil Martinsen Lilleberg.
The 20-year-old Norwegian joins the Coyotes organization after spending the past three seasons primarily playing in the Eliteserien, the top professional league of his home country.
With the 107th overall pick in the #NHLDraft, we've selected Emil Martinsen Lilleberg. pic.twitter.com/HnkNrmezkG— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) July 24, 2021
The left-shooting defenseman has racked up 94 regular-season appearances at the professional level in Norway, with three goals and 18 total points while playing for Sparta Sarpsborg - also commonly known as the Sparta Warriors.
He was named the top rookie in the Eliteserien after the 2018/19 season and has grown to establish himself as an international-level player.
Having captained Team Norway at the World Junior Championships (Division 1A) during the 2019/20 season, he earned a place with the national team at the World Championships earlier this year - featuring in six games and scoring a single goal in a 5-1 loss to Germany.
The Sarpsborg native is set to continue his development over in Europe, signed to a season with IK Oskarshamn of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), allowing him to jump up to a higher level.
Already older than many other players in the draft, Lilleberg has the ideal size for the professional game, standing at 6-foot-2, 207lbs, and could potentially remain in Sweden for the next two seasons - unless he impresses the Coyotes organization enough to be called over to North America earlier.