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Ekblad ready for his opportunity at NHL 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 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.

I have received valuable advice from Bobby Orr, Kerby Rychel, Mark Scheifele and Tanner Pearson who all convey the same message: Be yourself during the interviews and step outside your comfort zone and push yourself during the exercises and testing.

That's what I'll do.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Follow Aaron Ekblad on Twitter at: @EK5Colts

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