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Aaron Ekblad | Defenseman

Team: Florida Panthers
Age / DOB:  (18) / 2/7/1996
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 216
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Recent News

All eyes will be on Aaron Ekblad Saturday night as the Panthers' rookies face off against the Bruins' rookies.
It will be the first game Ekblad will play in a Florida uniform and it goes without saying that the NHL's first overall pick in this past June's entry draft will garner a tremendous amount of attention. "It's going to be fast-paced, there's going to be a lot of good players," said Ekblad. "It's going to be good to get our feet back under us, get the pace where it needs to be." Ekblad has a legitmate shot at starting the season in the Cats' top four and is well worth a mid to late round pick in your fantasy pool regardless of format. Sep 13 - 10:48 AM

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Florida Panthers draftee Aaron Ekblad was voted as the league's top prospect among defensemen in a recent poll of hockey experts.

Ekblad ranked sixth overall on the list, five spots ahead of the next blueliner - Nikita Zadorov of the Buffalo Sabres. Ranking ahead of the Panthers rookie, in order, are Jonathan Drouin, John Gibson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Sam Reinhart and Teuvo Teravainen.
Source: NHL.com
Sep 9 - 9:55 PM

Aaron Ekblad is "very confident" that he'll be a member of the Florida Panthers on opening night.

"We're hopeful, and we think he can," GM Dale Tallon said. "He's big and strong enough, has the ability. It's just adjusting to the pace. Timing is everything. Moving from junior to the NHL is a big step, especially on the back end defensively." Ekblad has recovered from the concussion he suffered about a month ago and Tallon added that the 2014 top pick had been medically cleared to practice. The Panthers may still be a little cautious with him to start camp
Sep 4 - 10:00 AM

Aaron Ekblad has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers.

"We are very pleased to have signed Aaron," said GM Dale Tallon in a statement. "He is a talented, strong, smart and hardworking defenseman who is ready to take the next step in his professional career. We look forward to watching him compete and develop at our prospects camp, throughout our main training camp and in preseason competition." The Panthers chose Ekblad with the first overall pick in the 2014 draft and it's probable that he'll start the year with the big club.
Sep 3 - 11:11 AM

Aaron Ekblad spoke on Saturday about his recovery from the concussion he sustained earlier this summer, and all signs point to the first overall pick being ready for the start of Panthers' training camp next month.

"The concussion is perfectly, completely gone. I feel great," said Ekblad. "I’ve been skating all this week, working out all this week. It’s gone. I feel great." These quotes from the Globe and Mail contradict a tweet from earlier in the day by the Toronto Sun, where Ekblad is quoted as saying his symptoms are "almost completely gone," and his workouts have been "ok." Whether or not Ekblad is completely symptom-free is unclear, but both sources seem to suggest that Florida's prized defenseman should overcome the setback on time for training camp on Sept. 18.
Aug 23 - 1:08 PM

33 of the NHL's top prospects are in Toronto this weekend for the NHLPA Rookie Showcase, primarily a social and photo-op event for the young stars before training camp starts next month.

The two-day event is based around Upper Deck's rookie card photo shoot, but also features an NHL 15 video game tournament, a light scrimmage, a hall of fame tour and media availability. Ekblad, Sam Bennett and Sam Reinhart are among the young guns attending the event.
Source: NHLPA
Aug 23 - 10:55 AM

Aaron Ekblad sustained a concussion when he was hit hard in an exhibition game against the Czech Republic during Canada's summer development camp.

Hockey Canada confirmed the injury, but it is expected that Ekblad will make a "full recovery" and be ready for Florida's training camp in September. "We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure," Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a statement. "We will closely monitor Aaron's health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September."
Aug 6 - 1:39 PM

Aaron Ekblad suffered an upper-body injury at Canada's summer development camp that will sideline him for the rest of the week.

He exited a scrimmage on Tuesday in the third period after an open-ice collision with Czech defenseman Lukas Klok. TSN's Ryan Rishaug is reporting that the Florida Panthers and Hockey Canada are playing it safe, but there's some concern that Ekblad may have sustained a concussion. We should get an update on the 2014 first overall pick's status around training camp.
Aug 6 - 11:35 AM

Aaron Ekblad is attending Canada's national junior team development camp, but his main goal is making Florida's roster for the upcoming season.

"I need to focus on being ready for that," he said. "But if I get this opportunity to come back and play for my country there's no doubt that I'll be willing and able." The first overall pick in the 2014 draft has a shot at making the Panthers, but it wouldn't be surprising if he played another year in the junior ranks.
Aug 5 - 9:36 AM

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon isn't guaranteeing Aaron Ekblad a spot on the team's opening game roster after selecting him with the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

"We'll have a good, long look at him at training camp," Tallon said. "If he's ready, he's ready. If not, well, [Jonathan] Huberdeau went back. Guys come back better players." Huberdeau was taken with the third overall pick in 2011 and went on to win the Calder Trophy in 2013. Ekblad might not have much fantasy value in 2014-15, but we do think he'll at least make the team's opening game roster.
Jul 8 - 9:38 PM

Aaron Ekblad, the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL entry draft, believes he is ready to play in the NHL right now.

Well the Panthers, who did not trade the first pick despite the fact they had numerous offers, sure hope he is. For his part, Ekblad does not lack confidence. "I can step into the NHL next year," he said. On being the first defenseman to go first overall in the draft since Erik Johnson in 2006 Ekblad said the following: "That is the burden of expectation. I chase it. I want that burden of expectation. I want that feel for motivation and I want to succeed under that." He may not be a significant fantasy asset in 2014-15, but Ekblad should be a strong two-way defenseman who will anchor a power play and register 40-50 points per season once he matures. He is worth investing in.
Jun 28 - 10:11 AM

The Florida Panthers have taken Aaron Ekblad with the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Ekblad is a confident player who has NHL size, toughness, skating ability and the smarts to play in the NHL next year, and eventually become a top-pair stalwart. He is an excellent two-way blueliner, with a three-zone game and a balance between his offensive and defensive game. Ekblad is skilled with the puck, his shot is heavy and accurate and he possesses great vision and poise. He complements his offensive game well with ruggedness, an active stick and solid positioning on the defensive side. He is very hard on himself and could stand to be more physically assertive at the next level. In 2013-14, Barrie's captain was named the OHL's most outstanding defenseman, leading all rearguards with 23 goals and finishing tied for fifth with 53 points. There was a lot of speculation that the Panthers might deal this pick, but in Ekblad they're getting a player that will make an immediate impact in the NHL.
Jun 27 - 7:19 PM

Buffalo GM Tim Murray believes Aaron Ekblad will be the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

"I believe that Ekblad is going to go one, and then we pick who we have left with the next guy on our list," Murray said. "If he doesn't go one, I'd be surprised, I guess, but then I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it." If Ekblad does go first overall to Florida, or to another club if the Panthers trade the pick, then Buffalo is up next and they could choose between forwards Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart or Leon Draisaitl.
Jun 20 - 7:43 AM

If the Florida Panthers don't trade the first overall pick, then they're reportedly likely to draft Aaron Ekblad.

"Ekblad is this year's player most likely ready to step in and play in the NHL," said the Panthers director of scouting, Scott Luce. "He's physically mature and has got lots of mileage underneath him at the OHL level." He had 53 points and 91 penalty minutes in 58 games with the OHL Barrie Colts in 2013-14.
Jun 10 - 8:35 AM

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad believes that he can make the jump right into the NHL next season.

Ekblad, a rearguard from the OHL's Barrie Colts, is ranked second by NHL Central Scouting on its final list of top North American skaters for the 2014 draft. Among defensemen, his 23 goals led the OHL and his 53 points tied for fifth. "That's the way I believe in myself," he said. "I wouldn't say I'm cocky but I'm confident and I believe that if I work hard and do all the little things, pay attention to details, I can be in that League next year." Ekblad has a chance to be taken with the first overall pick, which the Panthers hold.
Source: NHL.com
May 31 - 8:59 PM

Depth Charts

All Positions
PosRoleName
C1Aleksander Barkov
2Nick Bjugstad
3Dave Bolland
4Derek MacKenzie
5Brandon Pirri
LW1Jussi Jokinen
2Jonathan Huberdeau
3Tomas Fleischmann
4Sean Bergenheim
RW1Brad Boyes
2Scottie Upshall
3Tomas Kopecky
4Shawn Thornton
5Jimmy Hayes
D1Brian Campbell
2Dmitry Kulikov
3Erik Gudbranson
4Willie Mitchell
5Dylan Olsen
6Alex Petrovic
7Aaron Ekblad
G1Roberto Luongo
2Al Montoya
3Dan Ellis