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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by Jason Menard
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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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Photo: Defenseman Aaron Ekblad (left) and forwards Sam Reinhart (center) and Sam Bennett (right) will learn where they begin their professional careers at the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images and Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Now that the Los Angeles Kings have hoisted their second Stanley Cup in three years, the hockey world can now focus on the 2014 NHL Draft that will take place on June 27th and 28th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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The calendar has flipped over to May, but the top 10 in the ISS Hockey ranking of the 2014 NHL Draft prospects looks an awful lot like the top of the order in April's rankings.

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Panthers leap over Sabres to land top pick in NHL Draft Lottery

by Ken McKenna
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Photo: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly holds up the card showing the Florida Panthers as the winner of the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Maybe second is the new first, at least when it comes to the NHL Draft Lottery, the latest of which took place on Tuesday evening. In the prior two lotteries, the 29th-ranked club ended up with the first selection, and that trend held in the 2014 edition as this season's 29th club, the Florida Panthers, ended up walking away with the first selection overall in the 2014 NHL Draft.

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ISS Draft Rankings: Strong playoff showing helps Reinhart regain top spot

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Photo: Oshawa Generals center and 2014 prospect Michael Dal Colle turned in a strong 2013-14 regular season, but is playing at an even higher level in the 2014 OHL playoffs (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

On the eve of the NHL Draft Lottery, ISS Hockey has released their April ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft. And, as a result of some strong playoff performances by a pair of players, there has been some re-shuffling at the top of the order since the March edition of this list.

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