The Florida Panthers announced this morning that they have signed promising defenceman Aaron Ekblad to a three-year, entry-level contract.
“We are very pleased to have signed Aaron. 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.” – General Manager Dale Tallon
Back during Junes NHL Entry Draft the Florida Panthers selected Ekblad with the first overall pick and many people expect him to develop into one of the leagues top defenceman in a few years. He spent his junior career with the Barrie Colts and was the first D-man ever to be granted “exceptional player” status. In his last season for the Colts he posted a total of 53 points (23 G, 30 A) and won the Max Kaminsky Trophy which is awarded to the leagues top blue-liner.
Ekblad is expected to be a huge part of the Panthers defense and is expected to see significant time on both the power play and penalty kill. You can go watch Aaron Ekblad and a bunch of other Florida Panther prospects starting on September 11th at the Panthers IceDen. Details here.
How big of a role do you think Ekblad will have this coming season? Let us know in the comments below as your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.