Aaron Ekblad's big week garners third-star honors from NHL

Rookie blue-liner puts up six points in four games to gain league-wide notice.

Florida Panthers rookie defenseman Aaron Ekblad was named as one of the NHL's three stars of the week, along with Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, who took top honors, and second star, Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who beat the Cats twice in a short span.

Ekblad amassed six points (2G/4A) and finished +6 in four games to not only pull third-star honors from the league; he also tied red-hot Nick Bjugstad for the team lead in scoring.

The rookie defender started the week with the Panthers' lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus. Ekblad followed that performance up with another goal in Florida's exciting 4-3 win over the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. The Panthers returned home for a rematch against Columbus and the young blue-liner picked up an assist in the 4-3 shootout defeat that saw the aforementioned Bobrovsky come up with 52 saves. Ekblad saved his best for last, setting up all three Florida goals in a 3-2 home ice win over the Buffalo Sabres.

The rest of the league is starting to take serious notice of the Panthers mature-beyond-his-years defenseman. Look for "Eggs" to be in the Calder conversation the rest of the season.