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Ekblad sustains concussion at Canada camp

by Chris Stevenson

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Aaron Ekblad, the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers, sustained a concussion in an exhibition game against the Czech Republic on Tuesday night and has been sent home from Hockey Canada's summer world junior development camp.

"He was re-evaluted this morning. He's got a concussion. He'll miss the remainder of camp. He's going to head home today. We worked with the Panthers and we expect a full recovery," said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada's vice-president of operations, national teams, said Wednesday.

Ekbland was injured late in the third period of Canada's 6-2 win against the Czech Republic when he collided with Czech defenceman Lukas Klok just outside the Czech blue line.

He was wobbly-legged as skated to the bench and did not return to the game.

"We all saw the play. It was a hockey play. I didn't think it was a dirty play. It's something that happens in the game, unfortunately, and unfortunately it happened to him at our camp," said Salmond.

"He tested low, so when he did his test last night his scores were low, which is a good thing. He came in this morning, but he hadn't cleared. He still felt a little foggy. He didn't feel great," said Salmond.

"Again, in discussions (with the Panthers), we just thought at this time of the year, with who he is, we'd take every precaution to make sure he's healthy and ready to go to [Florida's] camp."

Florida expects Ekblad to make a full recovery in time for training camp in September.

"As announced earlier today by Team Canada, D Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion during an exhibition game [Tuesday] night," Florida General Manager Dale tallon said in a statement Wednesday. "We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure. We will closely monitor Aaron's health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September."

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