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 has offered to maintain a blog leading up to the 2014 draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
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.
Lunch was at Geno's Steaks. That was pretty cool. It's a landmark in Philadelphia and it was cool to see the amount of celebrities that have been there. We got to sign their guestbook, so that was pretty cool.
We stopped at the Betsy Ross House, and for a Canadian it's not the biggest history grab. But I think it was pretty cool how we got to go see one of the more historic things that have taken place in American history. I took a little bit of that in school, so to see it in person was pretty cool.
Then we went to the Phillies' stadium, Citizens Bank Park, and got to bat on the field. That was a really cool experience. It had been at least four or five years since I'd swung a bat. I played some baseball when I was a little kid. I was pretty good at it but I didn't like it that much. Wasn't passionate about it and that's why I chose hockey.
We stayed to watch the Phillies play the Miami Marlins and that was pretty cool as well. We have a clinic in the morning for some local kids and then we have another media outing. I'm just really looking forward to Friday and excited to hear my name called, and also see some of my teammates and friends get picked.
Until next time, thanks for reading.