Aaron Ekblad Draft Profile

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Aaron Ekblad
Aaron Ekblad

The race between Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett is incredibly close and either one could go first overall. Both have their fans. At different points this year, I flip/flopped between which one to rank first. Ultimately, I’m going with Aaron Ekblad. I think what really sold me on him was his performance at the WJCs where I felt like he was Canada’s top defenseman. It’s been a long time since we could say that Canada’s top defenseman at the U20s was an 18 year old. I think the other thing that really impressed me this year was Aaron Ekblad’s development as an offensive defenseman. His ability and confidence as a puck mover really took off this year (and helped to secure his appointment as the OHL’s defenseman of the year). Ekblad looks confident skating the puck out of the zone now and is actually taking chances across the opposing blueline, using his size to protect the puck. A lot of his success in doing that also has to do with the improvements he’s made to his first few steps and overall top skating gear. He also grew leaps and bounds as a powerplay QB this year, doing a much better job of getting in position to use his mammoth point shot…and actually getting it through to the net. He was keeping pucks in better at the line and displayed more confidence and patience as a distributor at the point.

At the same time as his offensive game was growing, his defensive game remained dominant. Because of his Ekblad’s and the improvements made to his skating, he’s very difficult to beat on the outside, perhaps one of the toughest defenders to get around in the OHL. He also played with more piss and vinegar in the corners and in front of the net, although I’m sure scouts would love to see him play with even more aggression in those areas (to utilize his 6’4, 200lbs body). The best thing about Ekblad is how physically and mentally mature he is. IMO, he’s ready to jump right into the NHL next year and have an impact at both ends of the ice. The offensive game may still take a bit of time at the NHL level (as it took him time to gain confidence at the OHL level), but he’s a potential franchise defenseman and future captain who also happens to be one of the few top notch defensive prospects in a weak draft year at the position.

– Brock Otten, OHL Prospects

Aaron Ekblad Highlights

Aaron Ekblad Statistics

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM+/- Postseas.GPGATPPIM+/-
2009-10 Sun County Panthers Bantam AAA AHBPL-----|
2010-11 Sun County Panthers Mn Mdgt AAA AHMMPL304303434| Playoffs185162114
Sun County Panthers Mn Mdgt AAA Midget6214536766|
2011-12 Barrie Colts OHL6310192934-5| Playoffs132358-1
Canada Ontario U17 WHC-1751234|
2012-13 Barrie Colts OHL54727346429| Playoffs22710172811
Canada Ontario U17 C WHC-1752464|
2013-14 Barrie Colts C OHL58233053917| Playoffs924614-4
Canada U20 WJC-20711220|
Tournament Statistics
2013-14 Canada U18 C Hlinka Memorial522444|
  • MLHS_Luke

    So…how do we get him?

  • SundinWasMyCaptain

    If the Leafs end up trading up I hope its for one of the top 3 spots otherwise anything between 4-8 is a wash. May as well keep that and or trade down to pick up a few roster players in a big package deal.

  • peterbleafs

    Dont care about Ekblad, think Reinhart will be maybe a 2nd liner,  that leaves Bennett for me who has high end but not really elite skills but he has heart and worth ethic…and that makes him for me the only likely number 1 center in this draft.

  • Burtonboy

    Does anyone seriously believe Tallon is going to pass on Bkblad given the state of Florida’s defense . I doubt it . In fact I doubt we see any  trading of the 1st 5 or 6 draft picks.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Do you see anyone trading a 1-2 defenseman unless your insinuating we are moving Phaneuf .

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Well if thats tcase its a perfect time for Shanny to make a trade to shore up our defense then isn’t it .

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy you’re probably right, but consider this:
    – The Panthers have been getting high draft picks and losing for awhile now.  Not sure they have the financial stability to keep waiting; playoff revenue would be a huge boost no doubt
    – they may want to take advantage of Luongo’s remaining years 
    – they do not want to be the Oilers
    – Tallon wants to spend money; their is not a lot in the free agent market.  If he wants real established big ticket players, he’s going to have to trade some youth one way or another.
    So while unlikely, its not out of the question.

  • Great Dane

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy the dark horse here is Viola – if he wants to win next season then Tallon might be forced to trade the first overall.

    That is where I believe Phaneuf enters the scene.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Top 4 we might have a slight chance. don’t think we can logically trade for a top 1-2 without creating huge holes elsewhere that would have to be filled . Reimer has little value on the trade market and Franson is a bottom pair defenseman. Those guys are a dime a dozen. Gunnar may get you something in a package.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Great Dane MaxwellHowe Burtonboy rather it was Kessel, but he has a NTC.  I’m not sure what the situation with Phaneuf’s NTC, because I’ve heard conflicting reports.  The other player the Leafs could dangle is JVR, who as far as I know does not have a NTC.  But strangely I think JVR is probably more valued by fans and the team than Kessel, probably on account of his nice contract

  • Burtonboy

    Great Dane MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Tallon will do what he did a couple of yrs ago . He will load up and overpay is the FA market or trade for salary dumps

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy CanuckUKinToronto This is the dismal science of the NHL in the salary ca area, and makes me believe that maybe a rebuild is the only answer

  • Burtonboy

    MaxwellHowe Great Dane Burtonboy So now we are back to trading Kessel and Phaneuf again . Unless the Leafs are looking to do a full rebuild those guys are going nowhere . Has Shanny or the Leafs given any indication they are going for that rebuild ?

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Holland is only a prospect . We traded a prospect for a prospect

  • Loric76

    Burtonboy Depends on how much of a rush Tallon is in to become competitive.  If you look at how Chicago was built, during the gutter years they first focused on drafting defensemen, and as they developed in the minors they shifted their focus to drafting forwards.  If he’s following this model again he may very well pickup Ekblad.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Great Dane Nope.  Though I’m not sure they would if that was the intention, otherwise they would devalue their own assets.  Awful quiet over there. 
    No, the Leafs will limp along for 2-3 years until no team wants to touch their high priced players and they are eventually traded for a song.

  • Great Dane

    CanuckUKinToronto Great Dane MaxwellHowe Burtonboy  To be honest what has Shanahan actually said regarding the future of the Leafs!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We keep Carlyle because nothing better is available. Are we keeping the core intact as well. What is the logic then

  • Great Dane

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy That is what I fear as well

  • Burtonboy

    Loric76 Burtonboy Like I said Tallon will spend money in FA and take on salary dumps like he did a couple of yrs ago

  • MaxwellHowe

    Great Dane Hope to pull a Blue Jays “play the same team with an addition or two and watch them gel” kind of move?

  • Great Dane

    MaxwellHowe  you play the lottery as well.  Leafs do not have that much luck

  • MaxwellHowe

    Loric76 Burtonboy I’m not sure Florida has the same time available that the Blackhawks did

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy Loric76 In that case, at least send them Lupul

  • Burtonboy

    MaxwellHowe Loric76 Burtonboy You watch and see . Tallon is no fool . He’s throwing out the idea of trading the # 1 just to see if anyone is foolish enough to badly overpay. Same thing the Av’s did last yr . The never had any intention of trading that pick

  • Burtonboy

    Great Dane CanuckUKinToronto MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Because my friend they believe the team we have right now is a lot better then it showed last yr . Shanny specifically said he would not have taken the job if he felt it was going to be a total rebuild

  • wendelsway1

    Good Morning Gents…..I’m really not expecting us to move up in the draft….gearing myself up to not be disappointed, and pleasantly surprised if we do…….GO MARLIES GO!!!!

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/GlobeKPD https://twitter.com/GlobeKPD/status/471613957850288128
    NBC replays and editorial comments of https://twitter.com/hashtag/Habs?src=hash, faking/diving will not sit well with https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHL?src=hash HQs. NBC not wrong. Episodes made game look CHintzy.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Loric76 Odds are you’re right.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy They’re taking quite a risk.  Leafs fans could take losing if they saw hope in a rebuild.  The Leafs pull the same crap next season and everyone from Leiweke on down might want to get their resumes in order.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy So the NHL would not be happy with the Habs or NBC?  If its NBC the NHL is upset with, the NHL can go fornicate itself

  • Mind Bomb

    Good morning Folks

  • Burtonboy

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy Oh the pressure will be on a whole lot of people to perform that’s for sure. Any repeat perfromance from Nonis ,Carlyle or the players will result in wholesale changes for sure

  • wendelsway1

    Mind Bomb Good Morning MB  :)

  • Mind Bomb

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy CanuckUKinToronto NO say it aint so Max ;(

  • Loric76

    Mind Bomb bout time you got up lol

  • Loric76

    MaxwellHowe Burtonboy lol ya right.  If it were CBC then maybe.  But Bettman choosing a Canadian team (even if it is the golden child of Canadian teams in his eyes) over a billion dollar contract with a US broadcaster?  No chance.

  • Mind Bomb

    Loric76 Mind Bomb Was up at 5 am, Cardio, Wednesdays are Weightsas well , then 20 minutes of Coffee and Playboy Plus :) Shit, I have already had a full day, its already time for a Nap :)

  • Loric76

    Mind Bomb Loric76 well, good night then

  • Mind Bomb

    Loric76 Mind Bomb Lol I wish. Although I am off for 10 days starting Friday so, sleep time is a comin

  • MaxwellHowe

    Mind Bomb MaxwellHowe Burtonboy CanuckUKinToronto oh it be so

  • Loric76

    Mind Bomb Loric76 nice!  Hopefully you get as nice or better weather as I got while off last week

  • MaxwellHowe

    Mind Bomb good day

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Loric76 The Pick I think is available is NYI at 5, I dont think they kept it over next years to draft a specific Guy, I think he makes another move for a player that can help them now. I think Snow realizes he has to start winning their, especially with the new arena

  • Mind Bomb

    Loric76 Mind Bomb I Hope bro this weekend is supposed to be nice, will open the pool saturday

  • wendelsway1

    I must have listened to a different Shanny interview.     The one I listened to said they weren’t blowing things up and they needed to get Phaneuf some help.  As much as some want Shanny to go in another direction with our core, it doesn’t sound like he’s prepared to do so….at least not this season.  Until he says otherwise, or moves a core piece, as far as I’m concerned…….trading Phaneuf or Kessel just ain’t happening.

  • Burtonboy

    Mind Bomb Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Loric76 Once you get past the top 3 or 4 picks movement becomes more likely

  • Mind Bomb

    wendelsway1 Nope you heard Right girl, Fenton has just infected a lot of posters, they will Jump back, the moment the puck drops this year, We will see how many of them are cheering to lose opening night lol

  • Komas Taberle

    Burtonboy MaxwellHowe
    This has always been the Leafs problem, they wait until the player is in a descent then look to trade him when they should be traded near the top of their value for a younger player who can be much better in a year or two.
    Schenn for JVR and Beauchemin for Gardiner and Lupul are two distinct cases where we traded the right way but those are few and far between.

  • Komas Taberle

    Mind Bomb Burtonboy MaxwellHowe Loric76
    Snow has to win now or else he will give a lottery position next year for the McDavid sweepstakes. He is a perfect target to ditch some high price talent on that will be good year 1 and start failing year 2.

  • Burtonboy

    Komas Taberle Burtonboy MaxwellHowe At some point you have to challenge the group you have to deliver . I believe that what Shanny is doing from top to bottom . That said the clock is running and a poor start with the team playing like it did last yr will result is a lot of moves very quickly