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Ekblad encouraged by performance at Combine

by Aaron Ekblad

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.

I woke up around 8 a.m. this morning. I wanted to get up at least two hours before my tests just so I could relax and get a good meal in and all that kind of stuff. Guys that have it later in the day, you're sweating about it. Mine was pretty quick. I got up and did it.

I know some guys skip breakfast before their tests, but that's not me. I need some food, some energy in me. And I had two hours or so to let it digest and sit for a bit.

When I walked into the testing room, seeing all the scouts, you get a little nervous. But once you do one or two things I'm like, "I'm good at this, I'm prepared for this. Just have to relax and get it done."

I skipped three of the workout stations because of some post-season injuries -- the one-legged squats, the pro agility and the long jump. But I did do the bikes and they were pretty tough. The Wingate was good because it was the exact bike I've been training on. It was a different bike for the VO2 Max test. The VO2 here was a little easier so I was able to do it a little bit longer.

I don't have all the numbers on how I did but I'm very happy with what I showed while I was here. I worked my absolute hardest. Any time you push yourself to the max it's pretty interesting to see how far you can go.

Next for me is some time at home. I'll get some rest for a couple of days and then it's right back into working out, getting stronger. I can focus on the things I need to focus on for next year, things like core work, explosiveness in my legs so I can get my feet faster, that kind of stuff.

It's pretty exciting to think Philadelphia and the draft is a month away. It's going to be the destination to a pretty long journey. It's going to be cool to have my friends and family there and all the support they have for me. It's going to be pretty cool.

Thanks for following along.

Follow Aaron Ekblad on Twitter at: @EK5Colts

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