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WATCH: Edmonton Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm delivers a crushing hit on Avalanche’s Mikko Rantanen

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
29 days ago
Mattias Ekholm certainly made his presence felt Friday night as he landed a massive hit on Mikko Rantanen.
About four minutes into the second period, Rantanen was trying to get the puck out of his own zone to start a breakout when Ekholm caught him puck watching and delivered a big check along the boards. It stung the Finnish forward enough that he had to make an early exit from the game.
Not only did it get the attention of the Avalanche players who immediately went after Ekholm, but it brought the Rogers Place to life with fans showing their appreciation for the clean check their beloved defenceman delivered. It certainly went to his feet as he went on to score a goal off the rush a few minutes later to give the Oilers the lead.
Rantanen, meanwhile, left the game and didn’t return.
It has been a standout night for the 33 year old who also picked up an assist on a Connor McDavid goal that helped Leon Draisaitl hit the 100 point mark for the fifth time in his career. Safe to say that he will play a vital role in the teams success should Edmonton make a deep playoff run this spring.
The Swedish blue liner is in the midst of another stellar season, with 41 points (nine goals and 32 assists), 127 hits, and 87 blocks heading into tonight’s game. In addition to providing some stability on the back end, Ekholm also became the 42nd Swedish player ever to play in at least 800 career games played earlier this season.
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 traded to the Oilers on February 28th, 2023 in a deal that sent Tyson Barrie and Reid Schaefer the other way.
Safe to say that deal has worked out well for Edmonton so far, and could be a home run if they are able to capture their first Cup since 1990 in a few months time. At the very least, this hit he delivered on Rantanen is a reminder of just how grateful the team is to have Ekholm on their side.

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