Danish defenseman Philip Larsen raised eyebrows when he during the 2005-06 season, at age 15, stepped in and played some regular shifts with Rögle in the Swedish second tier league. The smart defenseman did not look out of place at all, and was signed by Frölunda the following season. After a good junior year, he mostly played men’s hockey during the 2007-08 season. Some limited ice-time in the elite league was followed up with convincing performances with Borås in the Swedish second tier league. Larsen has also represented his home country in three consecutive U20 WJC tournaments.
2005-06: As a 15-year old, Larsen suited up for the Rogle J20 Club, appearing in 32 games and collecting 1 goal and 4 assists. He also played in 13 games with Rogle in the Allsvenskan, going pointless. This season also marked Larsen’s first appearance with the Danish National Team, where he played for both the U18 and U20 teams, scoring a combined 7 points in 10 games.
2006-07: Larsen joined Frolunda where he played in three different tiers. His first was with the J18 Allsvenskan, where he appeared in 2 games, picking up a goal and an assist, along with 3 points in 4 playoff games. He played 37 games with the J20 in the SuperElit, scoring 5 goals and adding 15 helpers. In post season action with J20 he picked up 1 assist in 8 contests. Larsen also made his Elisterien debut, going pointless in 5 games. Larsen once again suited up for Denmark’s U20 team, picking up 2 assists in 5 games.
2007-08: In his second year with Frolunda, Larsen played in two tiers. His first stint was with the J20 club, where he amassed 5 points in 8 games, and 4 points in 7 playoff games. He spent the majority of his time with Frolunda playing in the Elisterien. He found little success, going pointless in 16 games. Larsen was eventually loaned to Boras to play with Allsvenskan team, where he scored 5 goals and added 5 assists in 24 games. He represented Denmark once again as a member of the U20 team, scoring 1 goal and adding 1 assist in 6 games. Larsen was chosen in the fifth round, 149th overall, of the 2008 NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars.
2008-09: Larsen returned to Frolunda, where playing in the Elisterien he notched 2 goals and 15 assists in 53 games. He added 3 points in 11 playoff games. He played just 1 game for the J20 team, where he scored 1 goal. Larsen got the chance to represent Denmark in not only the U20 tournament, but also as a member of the Men’s team. He went pointless through 6 games, but added 4 assists in 5 games in his final stint with the U20 Team.
2009-10: Larsen played his final games with Frolunda, appearing in 42 games, collecting 10 points. Larsen signed an NHL contract and made his NHL debut in 2009-10, appearing in 2 games, collecting his first NHL assist. He also made his second appearance with Denmark’s National Team, scoring twice in 7 games.
2010-11: Moved to North America for the first time and played the bulk of the year in Texas (AHL). His 22 points in 54 games was exceptional for a rookie in a defense-first system. Was unable to help the Stars avoid elimination, but played hard in the playoffs at both ends (5 points in 6 games). He partook in his second cup of coffee in the NHL during the year and performed fairly well. His high intelligence level has kept him impressing coaches at all levels.
2011-12: Larsen skated in 55 games as an NHL rookie – missing eight games with a concussion – after spending time with AHL Texas early in the year. Larsen had the top plus/minus amongst Dallas defensemen (plus-11) and scored 3 goals with 8 assists and had 16 penalty minutes. He scored 1 goal with 9 assists in 12 AHL games with Texas and was an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes. Larsen skated for his native Denmark in the 2012 IIHF World Championship and was minus-six with 2 assists in seven games.
Larsen has average size, but other than that, he shows a rather all-round arsenal of skills. He is blessed with good speed, technical skills and very good hockey sense. Really a smart player, that sees openings that many other players are unable to. He plays mature and appears to be relaxed and confident on the ice. Perhaps more noticeable offensively than defensively, but rather solid in his own end, despite having to work with the physical aspect of the game. Needs to improve his strength in order to survive the rigors of a long, hard NHL season.
Larsen was dealt by the Edmonton Oilers to the Vancouver Canucks for a fifth round pick.