COLUMBUS -- Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad will play in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Ekblad already was scheduled to take part in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) as one of the six rookie stars. Those players were invited to take part in the Skills Competition but weren't eligible for the All-Star Game. However Ekblad has been added to the lineup as an injury replacement, joining fellow rookie Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators, who was named as a replacement Thursday.
Ekblad was asked during NHL Media Day presented by DraftKings on Friday what it would mean to be named to the main team for All-Star Weekend.
"Quite an honor that is for sure," Ekblad said. "There are obviously tons of better players that could be here over me. It’s just the convenience of me and some of the other guys being here right now."
The first pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, Ekblad has six goals and 25 points in 44 games. He's third on the Panthers in scoring, and he's also tied for the sixth-most points ever by an 18-year-old defenseman. He's on pace for 46 points, which would be second to Phil Housley's 66 points in 1982-83.
Ekblad will be eligible for selection Friday at the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).