Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad wins Calder Memorial Trophy
Ek caps off stellar rookie season with a piece of NHL hardware.
Make that two of the last three, Calders that is. Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad capped off a phenomenal rookie season by winning the Calder Memorial Trophy at the NHL awards show in Las Vegas.
The 19-year-old, who was the first overall choice in last summer's draft, beat out a pair of forwards, Ottawa's Mark Stone and Calgary's Johnny "Hockey" Gaudreau, to claim the prestigious honor.
The Ekblad selection gives Florida two rookie-of-the-year winners in the last three seasons, as winger Jonathan Huberdeau took home the prize after the 2012-13 campaign.
Ekblad broke long-standing franchise records for most goals and points by a rookie blueliner, finishing with 12 goals and 27 assists to total 39 points. Ed Jovanovski held the old marks with 10 goals and 21 points, respectively.
The 39 points Ekblad amassed were the third-most in NHL history by an 18-year-old defenseman. Phil Housley holds the record with a seemingly unbreakable 66, while Bobby Orr, Aaron's agent, racked up 41 in 1966-67.
In additional to his impressive freshman campaign with the Panthers, the young defender participated in the both the skills competition and the All-Star Game (injury replacement) in Columbus and was a member of Canada's gold medal-winning entry at the recently-completed IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic.
Can't wait to see what Eggs cooks up in his second season this fall.
UPDATE: video from the ceremony.