Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Aaron Ekblad
Aaron Ekblad was born on February 7, 1996 in Windsor, Ontario. A star for the Sun County Panthers of the OMHA, where he served as captain and led the club to the alliance championship, Ekblad applied for and was granted "exceptional player" status by Hockey Canada. With the approval, Ekblad became the first defenceman ever granted "exceptional player" status and he would join Ontario Hockey League a year early.

Ekblad would join the Barrie Colts for the 2011-12 season and immediately show signs of stardom. In his first year with the club the big defender would notch 10 goals and 19 assists in 63 games. He followed that up with seasons of 34 and 53 points respectively. Following the 2013-14 Ekblad was taken first overall by the Florida Panthers in the NHL Entry Draft.

Ekblad would make an immediate impact the following season. He set Panthers franchise records for goals (12), assists (27) and points (39) by a rookie defenceman, with his point total falling just two shy of an NHL record for 18-year-old defenceman set by Bobby Orr in 1966-67. For his efforts he was awarded the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

In 78 games for the Panthers during his second season with the club, Ekblad would record 36 points, which included 15 goals and 21 assists.

On the international stage, Ekblad was part of the gold medal-winning Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship in the Czech Republic. He was also a part of Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, but was limited to just one game due to injury.

REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
2010-11 Sun County Panthers Minor-ON 30 4 30 34 34 18 5 16 21 14
2010-11 Sun County Panthers Other 14 5 7 12 18
2011-12 Barrie Colts OHL 63 10 19 29 34 -5 13 2 3 5 8
2012-13 Barrie Colts OHL 54 7 27 34 64 +29 22 7 10 17 28
2013-14 Barrie Colts OHL 58 23 30 53 91 +9 9 2 4 6 14
2014-15 Florida Panthers NHL 81 12 27 39 32 +12
2014-15 Canada WC-A 10 4 3 7 6 +10
2015-16 Florida Panthers NHL 78 15 21 36 41 +18 6 0 1 1 0
2016-17 Florida Panthers NHL 68 10 11 21 58 -23
NHL Totals 227 37 59 96 131 6 0 1 1 0


OHL First All-Star Team (2014) NHL All-Rookie Team (2015) Calder Memorial Trophy (2015) Played in NHL All-Star Game (2015, 2016)
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