If the Florida Panthers retain the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, they likely will select Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad out of the Ontario Hockey League, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The 6-foot-3, 213-pound defenseman is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 draft.
"Ekblad is this year's player most likely ready to step in and play in the NHL," Panthers director of scouting Scott Luce told the Sun Sentinel last week. "He's physically mature and has got lots of mileage underneath him at the OHL level.''