Thursday, May 23, 2024

Panthers take D Aaron Ekblad with the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Florida Panthers have selected Canadian defenseman Aaron Ekblad with the first overall selection in the 2014 NHL draft. Ekblad is considered the top prospect in the draft.

It is believed that he is ready to play right away. The 18-year-old wanted to be drafted by the Panthers.

Defenseman Aaron Ekblad is selected first overall by the Florida Panthers in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft
Aaron Ekblad is selected first overall by the Florida Panthers in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

He played the past three seasons with the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League. In his tenure with the Colts, he had 40 goals and 76 assists in 175 games.

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He also had 11 goals and 17 assists in 44 games in the playoffs.

In 2011, he was the OHL Priority Selection Draft Top Pick by the Colts. He is also just the 10th player to be selected in the OHL and NHL Drafts with the first overall pick.

This past season, Ekblad was named the OHL Top Defenceman.

The Panthers had three offers on the table before they drafted Ekblad. One of those offers was from the Vancouver Canucks, who were willing to give up both of their first-round picks to get the top pick.

Panthers Executive Vice President and GM Dale Tallon said that the team was close but didn’t offer enough.

Ekblad was the Panthers’ first No. 1 overall pick since the 1994 NHL Draft. That’s when the team used the top pick on defenseman Ed Jovanovski.

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The youngster joins a Panthers team that went 29-45-8 on the season. The team hopes that by teaming Ekblad and Aleksander Barkov, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, they will have a very bright future. 

The Panthers have had two straight losing seasons. The team has not made the playoffs since the 2011-12 season. 

That’s when they lost in the NHL Conference Quarterfinals 4-3 to the New Jersey Devils. The Panthers went 38-26-18 and had 94 points to qualify for the postseason. 

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Anthony Caruso III
Anthony Caruso IIIhttps://thecapitalsportsreport.com
Anthony Caruso III is the Publisher of The Capital Sports Report. He has been in the Journalism field since August 2002. Since that time, Mr. Caruso has covered many marquee events. This includes 13 Heisman Trophy ceremonies, 2 Little World Series events, and one Army-Navy College Football game.
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