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Posted On Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 12:28 AM

By Aaron Ekblad -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Aaron Ekblad draft blog

Ekblad 'overwhelmed' after going No. 1 in Draft

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad recently completed his third season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound right-hand shot is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. He was named the OHL defenseman of the year after finishing with career highs in goals (23), assists (30), power-play goals (16), points (53) and penalty minutes (91). He earned first-place finishes for best shot, hardest shot, best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman in the OHL Eastern Conference in 2013-14. Ekblad offered to maintain a blog leading up to the 2014 draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He was the No. 1 pick of the Florida Panthers on June 27, 2014.

PHILADELPHIA -- Hello hockey fans!

Well, what a night here at Wells Fargo Center at the 2014 NHL Draft. The Florida Panthers selected me as the No. 1 pick, and I am completely overwhelmed right now. Everything is still going in slow motion.

When the NHL commissioner said the Panthers were on the clock I was like, 'Please pick me.' I really just wanted to get the jitters over with. I had no business sitting in that seat any longer.


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Posted On Wednesday, 06.25.2014 / 5:37 PM

By Aaron Ekblad -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Aaron Ekblad draft blog

Ekblad: Having some fun before the draft

PHILADELPHIA -- Greetings from Philadelphia!

I got into town Tuesday night. Driving up from the airport I saw the stadiums and that was pretty cool, how they're all in the same vicinity here. We got settled in at the hotel and then went to Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse, with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and my aunt and uncle. That was it for the night.

We woke up Wednesday and after breakfast took a pretty cool tour around Philadelphia. We saw the Rocky statue and ran up the stairs. That was fun but I didn't expect to have to do any running -- well, jogging. I've never seen any of the Rocky movies so it was all new to me. I'll probably go watch them now so I can get some history behind what I did today.


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Posted On Monday, 06.09.2014 / 4:01 PM

By Aaron Ekblad -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Aaron Ekblad draft blog

Ekblad: First trip to New York has been a blast

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad completed his third season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound right-hand shot is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. He was named the OHL defenseman of the year after finishing with career highs in goals (23), assists (30), power-play goals (16), points (53) and penalty minutes (91). He earned first-place finishes for best shot, hardest shot, best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman in the OHL Eastern Conference in 2013-14. Ekblad has offered to maintain a blog leading up to the 2014 draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Hello everyone from Madison Square Garden!

I'm here for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, and am really grateful to be invited here with four other great prospects: Samuel Bennett, Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl and Michael Dal Colle.

This is my first time in New York City and I love it. I'm not a fan of the traffic, but I love Madison Square Garden. The history here is unbelievable and just being here in the city that never sleeps is pretty cool.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 1:49 PM

By Aaron Ekblad -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Aaron Ekblad draft blog

Ekblad encouraged by performance at Combine

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad completed his third season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound right-hand shot is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. He was named the OHL defenseman of the year after finishing with career highs in goals (23), assists (30), power-play goals (16), points (53) and penalty minutes (91). He earned first-place finishes for best shot, hardest shot, best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman in the OHL Eastern Conference in 2013-14. Ekblad has offered to maintain a blog leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

It's been a long day but I survived the fitness test.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 3:55 PM

By Aaron Ekblad -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Aaron Ekblad draft blog

Ekblad relishes ping-pong wins vs. Barrie teammate

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad completed his third season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound right-hand shot is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. He was named the OHL defenseman of the year after finishing with career highs in goals (23), assists (30), power-play goals (16), points (53) and penalty minutes (91). He earned first-place finishes for best shot, hardest shot, best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman in the OHL Eastern Conference in 2013-14. Ekblad has offered to maintain a blog leading up to the 2014 draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Hello, hockey fans!

Aaron Ekblad here from the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto.

I can honestly say the most difficult part has been waking up in the early morning. The days have been long during the interview process, but I've been talking with many different, interesting people. It's basically been a job interview for 20 minutes; it's been a lot of fun. A lot of the teams are pretty laid back, and it's mostly conversation about some of the players and your family background.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.25.2014 / 3:19 PM

By Aaron Ekblad -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Aaron Ekblad draft blog

Ekblad ready for his opportunity at NHL Combine

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad completed his third season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-3, 216-pound right-hand shot is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. He was named the OHL defenseman of the year after finishing with career highs in goals (23), assists (30), power-play goals (16), points (53) and penalty minutes (91). He earned first-place finishes for best shot, hardest shot, best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman in the OHL Eastern Conference in 2013-14. Ekblad has offered to maintain a blog leading up to the 2014 draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Hello hockey fans,

It's been a long season with a roller coaster of ups and downs for me and the Barrie Colts. However disappointing, I'm ready to tackle every opportunity this summer head on leading up to the NHL draft. It all starts for me at 8 a.m. on the morning of May 28 with my first NHL team interview at the NHL Scouting Combine.

I guess you could say it started weeks ago when I decided to get back into a steady regime of workouts and a nutritional meal plan set by my trainer Erik. In the past month we have set goals for my training to exceed that of past Combine results from similar or comparative results. Training for the Wingate and Max VO2 tests has to be the most difficult. The physical and mental exertion it takes to push yourself to the very last second is quite the thrill. It's been going very well and each week I can feel myself becoming more and more ready to compete against the best the world has to offer.

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Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning