After much speculation as to whether the first overall selection would be traded, Panthers general manager Dale Tallon opted to use the pick on Barrie Colts (OHL) defenseman Aaron Ekblad. This is a great pick for the Panthers; Ekblad is projected to be a top fixture at his position in the NHL for many years to come. Though the return on trading the pick may have been something that could have helped the club right away, Tallon has gone with the conservative (and in my opinion, the correct) move in taking the young blueliner. Trading the pick hasn't boded well for the Cats in the past, and I doubt it would have here. Ekblad will most likely jump directly into the league next season, given his physical and mental maturity.
(Tallon makes his selection; video courtesy of Florida Panthers)
- Post-selection interview transcript via NHL
- Scouting report: The Cannon
- Scouting report: On The Forecheck
- Scouting report: The Hockey Writers
- Hey, Todd called this weeks ago!
(Tallon discusses Ekblad; video courtesy of Florida Panthers)
Aaron Ekblad 2013-2014 OHL Highlights (via bigwhite06)