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Tallon on Ekblad: ‘If he’s ready, we’re keeping him’

Jul 8, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

Aaron Ekblad Getty Images

If Florida Panthers fans want to see Aaron Ekblad next season, it’s all up to him to make it happen.

The Panthers are in the midst of their prospect camp right now and this year’s first overall pick is the featured player there. While he’s got the skills to be able to crack the NHL this upcoming season, Panthers GM Dale Tallon said it’s up to him to make that happen as George Richards of The Miami Herald shared.

“We’ll have a good, long look at him at training camp,” Tallon said Monday. “If he’s ready, he’s ready. If not, well, [Jonathan] Huberdeau went back. Guys come back better players.

“But if he’s ready, we’re keeping him, no doubt. We’re still thinking the same thing about this being a marathon. We’re getting closer with each draft.”

Jonathan Huberdeau certainly came back from an added year in juniors a better player as he won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. That said, the opportunity for Ekblad on Florida’s blue line is there for the taking.

There is competition to be had amongst the Panthers defensive corps. Brian Campbell, Willie Mitchell, Erik Gudbranson, and Dmitry Kulikov seem like locks for the top-four, but Ekblad will be up against Colby Robak, Alex Petrovic, and Dylan Olsen among others for the final two spots. You have to like his chances.

  1. jb8588 - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    With Campbell requesting a trade recently, that bumps up his chances even more depending on the return FLA gets. I really wish the Bolts traded up to get him…I have a feeling he’s going to be the next Shea Weber of the league given his talent on both ends.

    • alicesrightfootesq - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Tallon said Campbell never requested a trade.

  2. wutangwild - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    This kid is gonna be the real deal, he has all the tools to make it happen too. Just curious, did Gilbert sign anywhere?

    • withseidelinn - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      MTL.

  3. canada2014gold - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    Wow heard this one before. Florida will start any prospect with potential. Stop ruining your prospects…. Just because they could doesn’t mean they should.

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