Edmonton Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm plays in 800th NHL game

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
1 month ago
Mattias Ekholm reached a personal milestone in Thursday night’s game against the Blue Jackets by appearing in his 800th NHL game.
Ekholm became the 42nd player of Swedish descent to reach the feat, joining an exclusive group that includes a few former Oilers, Adam Larsson and Fredrik Olausson. Assuming he can remain mostly healthy, he has a good shot of becoming one of 17 Swedish players to play in over 1,000 NHL career games.
Even though Edmonton lost to Columbus, Thursday’s game proved to be a milestone night for two of the Oilers’ key players. Connor McDavid became the sixth player in NHL history to hit the 100-point mark seven times in his career.
Ekholm was originally selected 102nd overall in the 2009 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators where he spent parts of 12 seasons in The Music City. He was then traded to the Oilers on February 28th, 2023 in a deal that sent Tyson Barrie and Reid Schaefer the other way.
Since arriving from Nashville, Ekholm has provided some much-needed stability and reliability on the back end during a time when the Oilers desperately needed it. He may not be a huge point producer, but his two-way play has played an integral role in Edmonton’s success this year and should continue to play a crucial role in their quest to win their first Stanley Cup since 1990.
The 33-year-old blueliner has played in 60 games so far this season and has produced 26 points (four goals and 22 assists) in that span. In the first 800 games of his career, Ekholm has amassed 308 points (70 goals and 238 assists) which is ranked 15th all-time among Swedish-born defencemen.
Games 801 and 802 for Ekholm will take place this weekend when the Oilers play the Sabres and Penguins on back-to-back afternoons. The first half is tomorrow in Buffalo, where you can catch the action on Sportsnet at 10:30 a.m. MST.

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