Now comes the next, and perhaps most challenging, step: making the Panthers' opening-night roster.
"I consider it as a set of milestones leading up to my first NHL season," Ekblad said. "Obviously the draft was a big one, this is a big one, and coming into camp next week is going to be a big one as well. I'm pretty excited. It's a pretty cool experience for sure."
"If you don't believe in yourself you're putting yourself behind the eight-ball," Ekblad said. "I do believe in myself. I believe I can be on this team opening night. I'm very confident in that. I feel like I'm ready. I couldn't be in a better position than where I am."