If defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is asked to be the next captain of the Arizona Coyotes, he's up to the task.

"That would be a huge honor," Ekman-Larsson said during the European Player Media Tour last week. "I didn't dream of that when I was a kid. It was a long, long way from that. It would be unbelievable."

The position is vacant after the Coyotes declined to offer a contract this season to forward Shane Doan, 40, who had been captain since 2003.

Ekman-Larsson, 26, may be the obvious choice to succeed Doan. The Coyotes may not want to rush any of their younger players like forwards Max Domi (22) or Anthony Duclair (21), or defenseman Jakob Chychrun (19). It could be difficult for recent acquisitions, including center Derek Stepan (27) or defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (30), to assume the role.

"I hope I'm ready," Ekman-Larsson said. "You never know. I don't think I'm going to do anything different. I'll be myself. I'd like to think what I've been doing for the last seven years, if I get the 'C' on my jersey, that would be why -- because they like what I've been doing and like what kind of person I am. It feels like something new [is] going on."

The Coyotes hired Rick Tocchet to replace Dave Tippett as coach on July 11, less than three weeks after acquiring Hjalmarsson, who won the Stanley Cup three times with the Chicago Blackhawks (2010, 2013, 2015), and Stepan and goalie Antti Raanta from the New York Rangers; Raanta is expected to be the Coyotes' No. 1 goalie.