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Florida Panthers prospect Aaron Ekblad injured in U20 exhibition

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Cats' prize prospect suffers concussion Tuesday night in Montreal.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, the first overall selection in this year's Entry Draft, suffered what is being called an upper-body injury while playing in a game between Canada's U20 hopefuls and the Czech Republic in Montreal last night.

Ekblad was knocked to the ice by two Czech players as he tried to gain the blue line on a third period rush with Canada leading 5-2 with just over six minutes to go.

Ekblad_medium

(GIF courtesy of @myregularface)

The shaken up defender immediately left the ice after the hard tumble, but seemed to be in good spirits afterwards, assuring reporters that he was ok, so hopefully the injury is nothing serious. He will re-evaluated today.

Canada ended up winning the game by a final score of 6-2

UPDATE: Ekblad was not on the ice at Team Canada's practice this morning. It appears that he will play it safe and is done for the week.

UPDATE 2: Hockey Canada has updated Ekblad's status and the injury is now being called a concussion. He is fully expected to be ready for Panthers' training camp.

UPDATE 3: Panthers EVP & GM Dale Tallon issues a statement on Ekblad.

"As announced earlier today by Team Canada, D Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion during an exhibition game last night. We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure. We will closely monitor Aaron’s health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September."