Sep 3, 2014, 11:02 AM EST
On Wednesday, Aaron Ekblad — the No. 1 selection at this June’s draft — took a major step towards beginning his NHL career by signing a three-year, entry-level contract with Florida.
“We are very pleased to have signed Aaron,” Panthers GM Dale Tallon said in a statement. “He is a talented, strong, smart and hardworking defenseman who is ready to take the next step in his professional career.
“We look forward to watching him compete and develop at our prospects camp, throughout our main training camp and in preseason competition.”
Financial terms of the deal weren’t released but Ekblad, 18, is limited by the CBA for what he can earn annually (last year’s top pick, Nathan MacKinnon, had a $925,000 cap hit but made $3.775M with signing and performance bonuses.)
As for his spot with the Panthers…Ekblad looks to be in line for a top-6 spot next to Brian Campbell, Willie Mitchell, Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson and Dylan Olsen. That said, he will be challenged by a pair of fellow youngsters (Colby Robak and Alex Petrovic), and there are reports claiming veteran d-man Shane O’Brien is headed to Florida’s training camp on a PTO.
It’s also worth noting that, as per Tallon’s statement above, Ekblad will participate in both Florida’s prospects and full training camp, meaning he’s cleared to play after suffering a concussion in an exhibition game on Aug. 4 during Canada’s world junior summer development camp.
Dec 17, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Hasn’t played since suffering a groin injury Nov. 2.
Dec 17, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
Rivalry Night affair on NBCSN.
Dec 17, 2014, 5:25 PM EST
It’s the first time the league has made a fine public for embellishment.
Dec 17, 2014, 4:53 PM EST
Currently has Calgary in the thick of the Western Conference playoff chase.
Dec 17, 2014, 4:23 PM EST
Former Pens coach was on the radio today.
Dec 17, 2014, 4:12 PM EST
Hurt during Tuesday’s 6-2 drubbing in Toronto.
Dec 17, 2014, 3:40 PM EST
Veteran d-man no longer with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Dec 17, 2014, 3:02 PM EST
Will instead serve in a “player development/consultant role,” and will work out of his Florida home.
Dec 17, 2014, 2:27 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Dec 17, 2014, 1:34 PM EST
That’s 16 documented cases league-wide.
Dec 17, 2014, 1:31 PM EST
Despite four straight losses and the memory of last season.
Dec 17, 2014, 1:23 PM EST
“In every game that he’s played, he hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue.”
Dec 17, 2014, 12:25 PM EST
“When we were winning games, it seemed those chances against would not go in.”
Dec 17, 2014, 12:21 PM EST
Preseason standout now up for grabs.
Dec 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EST
“You just have to find a way to be better so it’s not going to be about one call or one bounce.”
Dec 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EST
Which will make things interesting for both him and the Blue Jackets.
Dec 17, 2014, 11:06 AM EST
Beau Bennett still dealing with effects, Sidney Crosby has “passed the infectious period.”
Dec 17, 2014, 10:47 AM EST
Says the move “reaffirms our vision of becoming an elite organization, both at the NHL and AHL levels.”
Dec 17, 2014, 10:45 AM EST
Both teams are dealing with some adversity right now.
Dec 17, 2014, 9:47 AM EST
“He’s done a tremendous job for us,” Joel Quenneville said.
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