Aaron Ekblad
Image: Terry Wilson/OHL Images

Aaron Ekblad

Hometown:

Belle River Ontario

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1996-02-07

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2014

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

1st round (1st overall), 2014

Weight:

216 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

2010-11: Aaron Ekblad skated for the Sun County Panthers midget minor team as a 14-year-old. In 48 midget major games – including 18 playoff contests – he scored 9 goals with 46 assists and had 48 penalty minutes. Sun County captured the Alliance championship. Ekblad was selected first overall by Barrie in the 2011 OHL Priority Draft after being granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada.

2011-12: Ekblad was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for Barrie in his first OHL season and played for Canada Ontario in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 10 goals with 19 assists in 63 OHL games and was -5 with 34 penalty minutes. The Colts were second in the Central Division and reached the second round in the playoffs one year after finishing with the league’s worst record. Ekblad scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was -1 with 8 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games. In five games at the WHC he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes as Canada Ontario won the bronze medal.

2012-13: Ekblad was the second-leading scorer amongst Barrie defensemen behind overage 20-year-old Ryan O’Connor in his second season with the Colts. He scored 7 goals with 27 assists and was +29 with 64 penalty minutes in 54 games; playing in just two games in December due to a lower body injury. The Colts finished first in the Central Division and reached the OHL Finals against London. Ekblad scored 7 goals with 10 assists and was +11 with 28 penalty minutes in 22 playoff games. He was the captain of Canada Ontario in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge; scoring 2 goals with 4 assists and 4 penalty minutes in five games.

2013-14: Ekblad returned to Barrie for his third OHL season after serving as captain for Canada’s gold medal-winning U18 team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August. In five games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament he was +4 with 2 goals, 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes.

 

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Photo: The Calgary Flames made Kingston Frontenacs center Sam Bennett the top forward chosen out of the OHL when they nabbed with the fourth pick overall at the 2014 NHL Draft (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

The Ontario Hockey League is not shy about professing itself as the premier route to “The Show”. And with nearly 20 per cent of this year’s drafted players coming out of the OHL — including 10 first-rounders — it’s clear that the “O” is not planning to relinquish its crown. Read more»

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Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad was the top selection in the 2014 NHL Draft. Ekblad is the second defenseman in Panthers franchise history to be drafted first overall, the other being Ed Jovanovski in 1994. (courtesy of Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

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Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad was the first pick of the Florida Panthers at the 2014 NHL Draft, as well as the first selection overall (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

 

Growing up in Windsor, ON, just across the river from Detroit, Aaron Ekblad followed the Detroit Red Wings as a child. He attributes watching Nicklas Lidstrom as the reason he wears the number five today. Read more»

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Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad signifies his draft position after being chosen first overall at the 2014 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers (courtesy of Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman and 2014 prospect Aaron Ekblad is said to be the most NHL-ready player in this year’s NHL Draft class (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

While it may not be the slam-dunk consensus that previous years have provided, either Sam Bennett or Aaron Ekblad are the odds-on favorites to be the sixth first-overall NHL Draft selection in the past nine years to come from the OHL.

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