Aaron Ekblad 2014 Top Prospect

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Aaron Ekblad —

League:  OHL     Team:  Barrie Colts

DOB:  Feb.7, 96     Born:  Belle River, ON

Height:  6’5     Weight:  207

Position: Def     Shoots:  Right

2012-13 Stat-line:   Games:  54   Goals:  7   Assists:  27   Points:  34   PIM:  64   Plus/Minus:  +29 

Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts

Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts

Week 2:  Arizona Hockey Talk’s preliminary evaluations of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft top prospects continue today with our featured prospect Aaron Ekblad.  Aaron Ekblad is one of the few players granted “exceptional status” by the OHL and he has definitely proved they made the correct decision.

The exceptional status rule: Hockey players wanting to play in the Ontario Hockey League can apply to enter the league a year early if they were to meet the criteria set forth by the league and Hockey Canada to ensure the player was ready to enter the league.

Aaron Ekblad was the 2nd player to be granted “Exceptional Player” status by Hockey Canada.  The first was John Tavares.  Aaron Ekblad was the 2011-12 OHL Rookie of the Year and will be going into his third season in the OHL with the Barrie Colts.

Aaron Ekblad will be the top defenceman in this years draft because he is capable of impacting the game at both ends of the ice.  He is joining the new bread of big strong defenceman capable of playing shut-down minutes while providing better than average offensive contributions. He is your prototypical “two-way” defenseman.

Buzzwords:

1.) Ekblad is a good puck mover and makes a very good first pass coming out of his own end.  2.)  He is a good puck handler capable of running a teams power-play.  3.)  He uses his body effectively and plays a “heavy game”  4.)  He plays in all situations and is a factor in all three zones.  5.)  He is developing leadership qualities.  6.)  He has great hockey sense and a high hockey IQ, the ultimate compliment.

Skating:

Aaron Ekblad is a big man and is a decent skater for his size.  His skating is steadily improving and he works hard in the off-season and during the season on improving his foot speed.

Projection:

He is the top defenceman in this draft class right now and could very easily be the #1 pick overall.

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