Skip to main content
This Date in NHL History

June 27: Aaron Ekblad drafted No. 1 by Panthers

Plus: Lightning make Vincent Lecavalier top pick; Newsy Lalonde, Joe Malone, Scotty Davidson named Hockey Hall of Fame members

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

THIS DATE IN HISTORY: June 27

2014: Aaron Ekblad becomes the first defenseman in eight years to be selected No. 1 in the NHL Draft when he's taken by the Florida Panthers with the first pick.

The Panthers, winners of the NHL Draft Lottery, open the selection process at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia by picking Ekblad, of the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League. He's the first defenseman to go No. 1 since Erik Johnson is taken with the first pick by the St. Louis Blues in 2006. Ekblad makes the Panthers roster as an 18-year-old, finishes with 12 goals and 39 points, and wins the Calder Trophy in 2015 as the League's top rookie.

The next three players taken are centers: The Buffalo Sabres select Sam Reinhart, the Edmonton Oilers take Leon Draisaitl and the Calgary Flames pick Sam Bennett.

 

MORE MOMENTS

1950: The Hockey Hall of Fame announces its newest members. They include Newsy Lalonde, Joe Malone, Scotty Davidson, Mike Grant, Si Griffis, Charles Drinkwater, George Richardson, Harry Trihey and, as a Builder, Frank Patrick.

 

1998: The Tampa Bay Lightning choose Vincent Lecavalier, a center from Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, with the No. 1 pick at the NHL Draft in Buffalo. Lecavalier is named captain of the Lightning after two seasons; at 19 years and 314 days old, he becomes the youngest captain in NHL history. Though he doesn't live up to owner Art Williams' tag as "the Michael Jordan of Hockey," Lecavalier helps the Lightning to their first Stanley Cup championship in 2004, wins the Maurice Richard Trophy as the NHL's top goal-scorer (52) in 2006-07 and retires in 2016 with 949 points (421 goals, 528 assists).

View More