Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad joined NHL Live to discuss the start of his rookie season.
The No. 1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Ekblad scored his first NHL goal Nov. 1 against the Philadelphia Flyers when he beat goalie Steve Mason with a slap shot on the power play. He has a goal and four points on the season, including points in two straight games.
"It felt great," Ekblad said. "Obviously one of the biggest smiles and most excitement I've had in a really long time playing this game. It's a pretty special feeling."
Ekblad made the direct jump to the League after three seasons with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. He had 23 goals and 53 points for the Colts last season.
"It's been a pretty big transition," Ekblad said. "Obviously the game is much faster and so much more competitive. On any given night you have to be at your absolute best. There's no taking nights off, whereas in the OHL sometimes you can get away with it. The South Florida fans that do come out to games are awesome. We love them and they're very supportive of us."