TORONTO - Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts has been named the Ontario Hockey League defenceman of the year.
Ekblad led all defencemen with 23 goals and finished tied for fifth in scoring among blue-liners with 53 points in 58.
"I came into this year with a set of goals I shared with no one," Ekblad said in a release. "One of those goals was to be given the Max Kaminsky Trophy. I watched Ryan Ellis as a fan of the OHL and again Dougie Hamilton as a competitor while they stapled themselves as the league's top defencemen. I idolized these players and fantasized being in their shoes and with the help of my teammates and the opportunity from the coaching staff with the Barrie Colts that moment has finally come."
The 18-year-old Belle River, Ont., native is eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft and was listed second among North American prospects by NHL Central Scouting in their final draft rankings.
He represented Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship and was captain of Team Orr at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary.