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Aaron Ekblad | Defenseman | #5

Team: Florida Panthers
Age / DOB:  (20) / 2/7/1996
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 216
Drafted: 2014 / Rd. 1 (1) / FLA
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Recent News

Look for the Panthers to have a devastating powerplay this upcoming season.
With Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle on the points and Alexander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Jaromir Jagr up front, the unit has the potential to be dominating. The second unit wil llikley feature Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjugstad and Jussi Jokinen. Jul 2 - 10:25 AM

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Date:

The Florida Panthers have officially signed Aaron Ekblad to an eight-year extension.

Florida didn't reveal the financial details of the deal, but if the previous reports are to be believed, then this contract is worth $60 million. "We are very excited to sign Aaron to a multi-year contract," said Panthers GM Tom Rowe. "He is an exceptionally skilled, intelligent and mature young player that is a difference maker for our team both on and off the ice. Aaron is an integral part of the foundation of our future and a cornerstone player who is continuing to develop into a true leader and one of the league’s elite defensemen." As we mentioned before, this contract is a gamble given how relatively inexperienced Ekblad still is, but there's no doubt that he has a ton of upside and he's already shown himself to be a great blueliner. This deal will be a huge headache if Ekblad struggles to live up to expectations, but it could also look like a shrewd move in a few years.
Jul 1 - 4:11 PM

Aaron Ekblad has reportedly agreed to a eight-year, $60 million contract extension.

There was a previous report that the Panthers were expected to present Ekblad with that offer and it's not surprising that he would take it. That being said he's not eligible to re-sign with Florida until noon ET on Friday, so it will be a little more than an hour before there's a chance to get confirmation of this agreement.
Source: NHL.com
Jul 1 - 10:54 AM

The Florida Panthers will reportedly offer Aaron Ekblad an eight-year, $60 million extension.

Ekblad isn't eligible to receive an extension until noon ET on July 1, so that's why it hasn't happened yet. That's a lot of money to throw at a player with 159 games worth of NHL experience, but given what he's already accomplished and his upside, it's possible that locking him up at $7.5 million annually will actually end up saving the Panthers money in the long run.
Jul 1 - 9:01 AM

Aaron Ekblad suited up in his first career NHL playoff game on Thursday night.

"Every night you kind of go to bed thinking about it, you wake up in the morning and think about it, you come to the rink and think about it," Ekblad said after morning skate. "It's really exciting and an anxious time for everyone and we obviously don't want to grip our sticks too tight and kind of be relaxed and be ready and prepared." He played a strong game in a 5-4 loss to the Islanders. Ekblad had four shots, one block and a plus-2 rating in 23:08 of ice time.
Apr 15 - 8:25 AM

Aaron Ekblad is rolling into the playoffs having scored in four of his last five games.

Ekblad ends the season with 15 goals and 36 points. Slightly down from his rookie campaign, but he managed to accumulate 27 goals and 75 points as a teenager. That's pretty awesome.
Apr 10 - 12:25 AM

Aaron Ekblad is two goals shy of tying the franchise record for goals in a season by a defenseman.

The sophomore defender has 14 markers and 29 points in 71 games. Jason Garrison holds the record, which he established in 2011-12.
Mar 28 - 10:12 AM

Aaron Ekblad notched a goal in the Panthers’ 5-1 loss to the Coyotes on Saturday night.

Ekblad scored at 17:28 of the second period. Even though his offensive game hasn’t taken a leap yet, the upside is there for him to be a big contributor in that regard. Plus, he’s already a stout defender, even as a 20-year-old. Ekblad has 13 goals, a career high, and 26 points. Jussi Jokinen and Aleksander Barkov got the assists.
Mar 6 - 12:02 AM

Aaron Ekblad snapped his six game point drought with a goal during Sunday's 3-1 loss to Minnesota.

Ekblad has now tied his high water mark in goals at 12, set last season as a rookie. It doesn't appear likely he'll match the 39 points from last season, as he only has 25 this season. But the future is very, very bright nevertheless.
Feb 28 - 6:25 PM

Aaron Ekblad finished a minus-two in the Panthers’ 5-2 loss to the Predators on Saturday night.

Despite this, he was six Panthers players who were positive possession players (he was at 54%). Ekblad also had two shots on goal. He has 11 goals and 24 points this season. The potential is unlimited for the 20-year-old.
Feb 13 - 10:24 PM

Aaron Ekblad scored in the Atlantic's 4-3 win over the Metropolitan during the first match of the NHL All-Star Game.

He was jumping into the rush frequently, just like most of the defensemen in the contests. Ekblad tied the game at 3-3 in the second half of the game.
Feb 1 - 10:06 AM

Aaron Ekblad feels more deserving of this year's All-Star Game selection.

He played in the festivities last year too, but got a spot in the game when another player backed out the day before. In 2015-16, he isn't playing as a replacement, so he feels like he earned his spot. "It's 100 percent more rewarding," Ekblad said. "I didn't feel like I was supposed to be there last year. It's not something you want to be involved in if you're not supposed to be there. I was a rookie, just taking it all in, and then I'm playing in the game. I think the experience will help me this year, but this is much more rewarding. And it's rewarding for my team."
Jan 29 - 8:01 AM

When Aaron Ekblad plays, the Panthers don't lose.

At least it seems that way. Going into Friday night's game against Chicago, Ekblad missed the Panthers last four games with an upper-body injury. The Cats' lost all four of those games. With Ekblad in the lineup Florida has won it's last 13 games dating back to December 12th. A coincidence? We think not. There is no doubt Ekblad is one of the NHL's best young rearguards.
Jan 23 - 10:14 AM

Aaron Ekblad scored in Friday's 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

This was Ekblad's first game back after missing four games with an upper-body injury. The 19-year-old's goal at the 2:51 mark of the second period gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead. Ekblad has 10 goals, 20 points and a plus-19 rating in 43 games this season. Reilly Smith, Brian Campbell and Quinton Howden also scored for the Cats.
Jan 22 - 10:55 PM

Fear not Panthers fan, Aaron Ekblad will indeed play Friday against the Blackhawks.

Florida has gone 0-3-1 without their phenomenal blue liner, and as much we'd all like to draw the obvious conclusion, it wasn't Ekblad. Okay all puns aside, "I feel great," Ekblad said after morning skate. "I'm really, really, really happy to be back in the lineup." He has nine goals and 19 points in 42 games this season and will pair with Steven Kampfer to create Florida's second defensive unit.
Jan 22 - 6:52 PM

Depth Charts

All Positions
PosRoleName
C1Aleksander Barkov
2Vincent Trocheck
3Nick Bjugstad
4Derek MacKenzie
5Greg McKegg
LW1Jonathan Huberdeau
2Jussi Jokinen
3Jared McCann
4Jonathan Marchessault
RW1Jaromir Jagr
2Reilly Smith
3Colton Sceviour
4Shawn Thornton
5Logan Shaw
D1Aaron Ekblad
2Keith Yandle
3Jason Demers
4Mark Pysyk
5Alex Petrovic
6Jakub Kindl
7Michael Matheson
G1Roberto Luongo
2James Reimer
3Reto Berra