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Aaron Ekblad | Defenseman | #5

Team: Florida Panthers
Age / DOB:  (21) / 2/7/1996
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 216
Drafted: 2014 / Rd. 1 (1) / FLA
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Recent News

Aaron Ekblad picked up a goal and an assist in Thursday's 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.
St. Louis scored the game's first goal, but the Panthers answered with five unanswered goals the rest of the way. Ekblad helped set up Jared McCann's first-period goal on the power play to make it 3-1 Panthers. He also added one of his own in the second frame to extend his team's lead to 4-1. Ekblad finished the game with a plus-3 rating and three shots on goal in 20:20 of ice time. He now has one goal and two assists in three games this season. Oct 12 - 10:54 PM

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Date:

Aaron Ekblad registered an assist in Florida's 5-4 loss to Tampa Bay Saturday night.

That was Ekblad's first point in two games in 2017-18. Ekblad was relatively quiet offensively last season with 21 points in 68 contests, but he has a lot of potential in that regard so it will be worth seeing how he does in the weeks to come as that might provide us with an indication of if he's in line for a breakout season.
Oct 8 - 6:28 AM

Aaron Ekblad might play more aggressively this season.

Ekblad would work to avoid big hits in the past, which is a subject that he discussed with GM Dale Tallon. "And that was not the right way to play," Ekblad said. "Dale and I had a talk midway through the year that I got to get back for that puck quick, make the play and then get up ice and that’s the best way to protect yourself is to be quicker than them." To that end Ekblad worked on reducing his level of fat over the summer while still maintaining his muscle mass. The Panthers are looking for him to be a cornerstone of the franchise as he enters the first season of his eight-year, $60 million deal.
Sep 24 - 4:51 AM

Aaron Ekblad feels he learned a great deal from his struggles last season.

"That's a season where you really realize how hard it is, how hard this league is, how hard it is to stick around," Ekblad said. "It's easy to take that for granted with the money that we're paid and the opportunities that we get. You have to really humble yourself. Last year humbled me." He posted an NHL career-low 21 points and a career worst minus-23 rating, while skating in 68 games. The 21-year-old defender said he "may have cruised through my first two years a little bit too much. The real work began this summer." Ekblad feels more confident and healthy going into the 2017-18 campaign. He wants to lead the Panthers back to the playoffs.
Aug 4 - 8:52 AM

Aaron Ekblad and a few other members of the Panthers already have a connection to new Florida coach Bob Boughner.

Ekblad grew up in Windsor as a close family friend of Boughner and his son. Boughner also coached Panthers captain Derek MacKenzie when he was on the staff of the Columbus Blue Jackets as an assistant and he worked with goalie James Reimer with the Sharks last season. In another twist, he was a teammate of Jaromir Jagr on Pittsburgh in 2000.

Aaron Ekblad said he felt 100 percent after the season ended and he doesn't expect to have any lingering effects from the head injuries he suffered this year.

He admitted that it was hard to bounce back initially because he wasn't mentally ready for contact again, but he felt more like himself again in mid-January before he ended up back on the sidelines at the end of the campaign. Ekblad registered a career-low 10 goals and 21 points in 68 games. He also had a team-worst minus-23 rating, but he is confident that he will get back on track in 2017-18.
Apr 17 - 10:41 AM

Aaron Ekblad (neck) may not return before the end of the regular season.

"He's day to day," interim coach Tom Rowe said of Ekblad, "but it's unlikely we're going to play him." He hasn't played since Mar. 21 because of a neck issue.
Apr 3 - 6:06 PM

Aaron Ekblad (neck) will miss the Panthers' next five games.

That's Saturday's contest and the entirety of the Panthers' upcoming road trip. Ekblad has a sore neck and has been dealing with headaches. Panthers coach/GM Tom Rowe said that it's not related to Ekblad's concussion, which he was cleared of, but Rowe regrets allowing Ekblad to return from it on Tuesday. "I’m not going to lie, I wish we didn’t," Rowe said of Ekblad playing Tuesday. "That’s on me. The doctors cleared him, our medical staff cleared him but I had some reservations and I wish I stayed with my gut. That’s no one’s fault but my own." After Ekblad's latest issue, the Panthers are going to be very conservative with him.
Mar 25 - 2:23 PM

Aaron Ekblad (neck) didn't practice on Friday and is experiencing headaches.

Given that Ekblad only recently returned from a concussion, the news that he has headaches might understandably sound concerning, but Panthers coach Tom Rowe said it's unrelated. "He has the headaches because of the neck injury," Rowe said. "There’s no reason to rush him back." Ekblad also dealt with headaches when he suffered whiplash back in September and in that instance he initially thought he had a concussion.
Mar 24 - 5:20 PM

Aaron Ekblad has been sidelined with a stiff neck, and will not play in Thursday's game against Arizona.

He noted that it's unrelated to his previous concussion. In 68 games this season, Ekblad has posted 10 goals and 21 points along with 58 PIMs, 62 blocks and 88 hits. Consider him day-to-day for now.
Mar 23 - 1:25 PM

Aaron Ekblad (concussion) will return from his four-game absence on Tuesday against Carolina.

Through 67 games this season, the franchise defender has posted 10 goals and 21 points along with 58 PIMs, 62 blocks and 87 hits.
Mar 21 - 3:07 PM

Aaron Ekblad (concussion) is expected to miss seven-to-10 days, per Panthers coach Tom Rowe.

Concussions don't usually conform well to timetables, so we're taking that timetable with a bit of caution. It does suggest though that the Panthers feel optimistic about Ekblad based on what they've seen so far as missing a week is about as short of an absence as you get from a concussion.
Mar 13 - 12:24 PM

Aaron Ekblad sustained a concussion in Saturday night's contest against the Lightning.

It's official. As with all concussions, there is no immediate timetable for Ekblad's return. Reserve him immediately and hope for the best.
Mar 12 - 10:00 AM

Aaron Ekblad has sustained an upper-body injury and will not return to Saturday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ekblad slammed into the glass head first about 3:30 into the second and is likely undergoing concussion protocol.
Mar 11 - 8:44 PM

Aaron Ekblad potted his 10th goal of the season in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers.

He cashed on a Panthers' power play with 3:26 remaining in the third period. Ekblad has struggled this season with 21 points in 65 games, but he still managed to hit double digits in goals for a third straight year.
Mar 8 - 8:39 AM

Depth Charts

All Positions
PosRoleName
C1Aleksander Barkov
2Vincent Trocheck
3Nick Bjugstad
4Derek MacKenzie
LW1Jonathan Huberdeau
2Jared McCann
3Denis Malgin
4Connor Brickley
5Micheal Haley
RW1Evgenii Dadonov
2Radim Vrbata
3Owen Tippett
4Colton Sceviour
D1Aaron Ekblad
2Keith Yandle
3Michael Matheson
4Alex Petrovic
5Mark Pysyk
6Ian McCoshen
7MacKenzie Weegar
G1Roberto Luongo
2James Reimer
3Harri Sateri