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.
(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.
Aaron Ekblad left the ice w/ an apparent upper-body inj Tue in MTL aftr a check from a Czech playr late in U20 gm. He told reprtrs he's OK.— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) August 6, 2014
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.
Ekblad done for the week as both the Panters and Hockey Canada will play it safe.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) August 6, 2014
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.
(1/2) After suffering a concussion last night, and after consultation with the @FlaPanthers, Aaron Ekblad will miss the remainder of camp.— Team Canada Men (@HC_Men) August 6, 2014
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."