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05-07-2013, 07:09 AM
Deku's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Ottawa
Country: Hungary
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Panthers Select Aaron Ekblad 3rd Overall
(2014 Offseason Report)

Aaron Ekblad, a big, strong offensive defenseman will
play this season with the Barrie Colts again, but will likely
join the Panthers next season.

2014 Draft Day

Prior to the first round of the NHL entry draft, the Panthers made a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers gave up the 4th overall pick and a 3rd round pick in 2017 to receive the 3rd overall pick from Toronto. With the 3rd overall pick they selected Aaron Ekblad, a defenseman from the Barrie Colts. He was the high-est ranked defenseman in the draft.

Notable Draft Selections:
Selected D Aaron Ekblad 3rd overall (76 overall, 18 years old, 4.5 yellow)
Selected D Blake Orban 20th overall (62 overall, 20 years old, 3.5 yellow)
Selected LW Mathias Janssen 34th overall (59 overall, 18 years old, 3.5 yellow)
Selected RW Scott Teskey 64th overall (49 overall, 19 years old, 3.5 yellow)

Ed Jovanovski was the only Panthers player to retire. Filip Kuba also retired, but he finished last season with the Chicago Blackhawks after the Panthers traded him away.

Free Agent Signings

Florida inked back-up goaltender Brian Elliott to a 2-year, $1.5 million contract.

2014-15 Lineup

The Panthers are welcoming six new players into the NHL lineup this year. Rookie forwards Bill Sweatt and Quinten Howden will join Shawn Matthias on the third line up front, while another rookie forward, Drew Shore, will center the fourth line. Rookie defenders Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak will join the Panthers' blue line and veteran goaltender Brian Elliott will serve as backup.

Top Prospects

Aaron Ekblad becomes Florida's newest top prospect, with Dmitri Jaskin, Morgan Klimchuk, and Vincent Trocheck a bit behind him. Ekblad, Josh McFarland, Stephen Midensky, and Joonas Donskoi are the closest to becoming useful impact players in the NHL.

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