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Lars Eller
Lars Eller 2018-02-04 1.jpg
Eller with the Washington Capitals in 2018
Born 8 May 1989 (1989-05-08) (age 32)
Rødovre, Denmark
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 198 lb (90 kg; 14 st 2 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Washington Capitals
Frölunda HC
St. Louis Blues
Montreal Canadiens
JYP
National team Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark
NHL Draft 13th overall, 2007
St. Louis Blues
Playing career 2007–present

Lars Fosgaard Eller (born 8 May 1989) is a Danish professional ice hockey player for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). Nicknamed "the Tiger", he was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the first round, 13th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He later joined the Montreal Canadiens, where he played six seasons before being traded to the Capitals in 2016. He became the first person born in Denmark to win the Stanley Cup when the Capitals won in 2018, notably scoring the Stanley Cup-winning goal.

Playing career

St. Louis Blues

During the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Eller was selected thirteenth overall by the St. Louis Blues, the highest ranking for a Danish born and trained player in NHL history until friend and former teammate Mikkel Bødker was selected number eight overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. (Danish-born Jan Popiel was drafted tenth overall in the 1964 NHL Amateur Draft but grew up in and became a citizen of Canada before making his pro debut.)

Eller spent part of the 2007–08 season with Borås in the HockeyAllsvenskan, on loan from Frölunda.

Eller moved to North America for the 2009–10 season. His preseason was spoiled by mononucleosis and, as a result, he started the season playing for the Peoria Rivermen in the American Hockey League (AHL). He was called up by the St. Louis and made his NHL debut on 5 November 2009 in a game against the Calgary Flames in which the Blues lost 2–1. He scored the Blues' lone goal, beating Miikka Kiprusoff off of a deflection and had three shots on goal in 9:42 minutes of ice time. Eller appeared in five NHL games before returning to Peoria, finishing the season with seven games for the Blues.

With the Rivermen, Eller was named AHL Rookie of the Month for March 2010 and was also selected for the 2009–10 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Montreal Canadiens

On 17 June 2010, Eller was traded by the Blues to the Montreal Canadiens, along with Ian Schultz, in exchange for goaltender Jaroslav Halák. On 24 November 2010, Eller scored his first goal with the Canadiens, wristing one past Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

On 4 January 2012, Eller scored 4 goals and an assist in a 7–3 victory against the Winnipeg Jets, his first career hat trick. He was the first Montreal Canadien to score 4 goals in one game since Jan Bulis in 2006. During the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Eller signed a temporary contract with Finnish top-flight club, JYP Jyväskylä. He recorded 5 goals and 10 assists in 15 games.

Lars Eller - Montreal Canadiens
Eller with the Montreal Canadiens in January 2015

On 2 May 2013, an open ice check from Ottawa Senators' defenseman Eric Gryba knocked Eller unconscious during a playoff game at the Bell Centre. He was later diagnosed with a concussion, along with dental and facial fractures. On 24 July 2014, Eller signed a four-year, $13 million contract extension with the Canadiens.

Washington Capitals

After six seasons, Eller's tenure with the Canadiens came to an end at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, as he was traded to the Washington Capitals in exchange for two second-round picks in 2017 and 2018 on 24 June 2016. On 10 February 2018, Eller signed a five-year, $17.5 million contract extension with the Capitals.

On 7 June 2018 Eller won his first Stanley Cup when the Capitals defeated the first-year Vegas Golden Knights in five games. Eller scored the Cup-clinching goal, and finished the playoffs with seven goals and 18 points in 24 games. He became the first NHL player born in Denmark to win a Stanley Cup.

Personal life

Lars Eller grew up in Rødovre, Denmark. His father, Olaf Eller, is a former Danish international ice hockey player and former coach of several teams in the Superisligaen, as well as Troja/Ljungby in Sweden. Olaf Eller is also a color commentator for Danish TV 2 Sport for the IIHF World Championships and occasionally for games in the AL-Bank Ligaen. He is also head coach of Esbjerg IK. His younger brother Mads (born 25 June 1995) played one season for the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL, and had also played junior hockey for Frölunda HC and represented Denmark at the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Their half brother Michael Smidt has also represented the Danish national team and played all his career in Denmark - including 17 seasons for the Rødovre Mighty Bulls where he also was captain for six seasons before he retired in 2014. Eller and his wife, Julie, have two children.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Rødovre SIK DNK U20 28 21 26 47 20
2004–05 Rødovre SIK DNK.2 1 3 1 4 0
2005–06 Frölunda HC J18 Allsv 8 2 4 6 10 2 0 0 0 0
2005–06 Frölunda HC J20 36 7 7 14 6 2 0 0 0 0
2006–07 Frölunda HC J18 Allsv 2 1 3 4 6 6 3 2 5 8
2006–07 Frölunda HC J20 39 18 37 55 58 8 4 1 5 24
2007–08 Frölunda HC J20 9 4 4 8 10 7 5 6 11 14
2007–08 Borås HC Allsv 19 2 6 8 8
2007–08 Frölunda HC SEL 14 0 2 2 4 7 0 1 1 2
2008–09 Frölunda HC SEL 48 12 17 29 28 10 3 1 4 12
2009–10 Peoria Rivermen AHL 70 18 39 57 84
2009–10 St. Louis Blues NHL 7 2 0 2 4
2010–11 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 7 10 17 48 7 0 2 2 4
2011–12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 79 16 12 28 66
2012–13 JYP SM-l 15 5 10 15 18
2012–13 Montreal Canadiens NHL 46 8 22 30 45 1 0 0 0 0
2013–14 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 12 14 26 68 17 5 8 13 18
2014–15 Montreal Canadiens NHL 77 15 12 27 42 12 1 2 3 4
2015–16 Montreal Canadiens NHL 79 13 13 26 28
2016–17 Washington Capitals NHL 81 12 13 25 36 13 0 5 5 10
2017–18 Washington Capitals NHL 81 18 20 38 38 24 7 11 18 18
2018–19 Washington Capitals NHL 81 13 23 36 37 7 1 2 3 2
2019–20 Washington Capitals NHL 69 16 23 39 48 5 0 1 1 2
2020–21 Washington Capitals NHL 44 8 15 23 21 4 0 1 1 0
NHL totals 798 140 177 317 481 90 14 32 46 58

Eller at the 2010 World Championships
Medal record
Competitor for  Denmark
Ice hockey
IIHF World U18 Championship
Silver 2006 Latvia Division I Group B
Gold 2007 Poland Division I Group B
World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
Gold 2007 Sweden Division I Group A
Silver 2009 Canada Division I Group B

International

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
2006 Denmark WJC18 D1 5 5 5 10 8
2007 Denmark WJC D1 5 2 5 7 16
2007 Denmark WJC18 D1 5 3 7 10 6
2008 Denmark WJC 6 3 3 6 37
2008 Denmark WC 6 0 2 2 0
2009 Denmark WJC D1 5 3 3 6 20
2009 Denmark OGQ 3 1 1 2 8
2010 Denmark WC 7 2 3 5 8
2012 Denmark WC 7 3 2 5 14
2016 Denmark WC 8 1 5 6 12
2019 Denmark WC 3 2 3 5 6
Junior totals 26 16 23 39 87
Senior totals 34 9 16 25 48

Awards and honours

Award Year
NHL
Stanley Cup (Washington Capitals) 2018
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