By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘aaron ekblad’
Posted: June 26th, 2014

The 2014 NHL Entry Draft has been described as wide open with several players capable of being the No. 1 pick.
That may be true, yet the player that should be picked first overall tonight at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia seems simple to me – Barrie D Aaron Ekblad. Why? Because I’ve always

Aaron Ekblad

believed you build a winning team from back to front.
Ekblad is the total package on defense – a big (6-4, 217 pounds) shutdown D who’s strong, physical, quick and agile on his skates. He can produce consistently on the offensive end, and has the hockey intelligence to spearhead the power play.
The Florida Panthers, who have the No. 1 pick, already have promising young D on the roster – Erik Gudbranson and Dmitry Kulikov – but they should pounce on Ekblad quickly. If not, the Buffalo Sabres should say thanks to the Panthers for passing on him, and quickly make Ekblad their pick at No. 2.

Check out these videos on Ekblad and other top draft prospects

Now check out some mock drafts…

* Ryan Kennedy from The Hockey News

* overview
*’s Adam Kimelman
*’s Mike G. Morreale
*’s Steven Hoffner

First-round order 
1. Florida
2. Buffalo
3. Edmonton
4. Calgary
5. N.Y. Islanders
6. Vancouver
7. Carolina
8. Toronto
9. Winnipeg
10. Anaheim (from Ottawa)
11. Nashville
12. Arizona
13. Washington
14. Dallas
15. Detroit
16. Columbus
17. Philadelphia
18. Minnesota
19. Tampa Bay
20. San Jose
21. Buffalo (conditional from St. Louis)
22. Pittsburgh
23. Colorado
24. Anaheim
25. Boston
26. Montreal
27. Chicago
28. Tampa Bay (from N.Y. Rangers)
29. Los Angeles
30. New Jersey 



Posted: March 18th, 2014


No. 1 Oshawa vs. No. 8 Mississauga
Season records: Oshawa 42-20-0-6, Mississauga 24-38-1-5
Season series: Oshawa won 3-1
Players to watch
Oshawa – LW Michael Dal Colle (39 goals, 56 assists, 95 points), C Scott

Scott Laughton

Laughton (40-47-87), G Daniel Altshuller (31-13-0-3 record, 2.56 goals-against average, .917 save percentage, 2 shutouts), C Cole Cassels (24-49-73), RW Dylan Smoskowitz (29-17-46)
Mississauga – D Sean Day (6-10-16, minus-35), G Spencer Martin (24-33-1-4, 3.54, .899, 3 SO), C Bryson Cianfrone (17-27-44), LW Josh Burnside (12-27-39), RW Andrew Goldberg (17-16-33)
Outlook: Forget that the Steelheads beat Oshawa in their first meeting of the season. These aren’t the same Steelheads, and the Generals are much stronger. This series won’t be close.
Prediction: Oshawa in 4 games

No. 2 North Bay vs. No. 7 Niagara
Season records: North Bay 38-24-4-2, Niagara 24-35-3-6
Season series: Tied 3-3
Players to watch
North Bay – RW Barclay Goodrow (33-34-67), G Jake Smith (23-12-3-1, 2.52, .904, 4 SO), LW Vincent Praplan (19-34-53), C Nick Paul (26-20-46), C Brendan Miller (8-24-32, +14)
Niagara – C Carter Verhaeghe (28-54-82), LW Brendan Perlini (34-37-71), LW Anthony DiFruscia (25-27-52), RW Eric Ming (33-17-50), D Luke Mercer (5-34-39)
Outlook: The hard-working IceDogs will give the Battalion a battle. But defense wins in the playoffs, and the Battalion are known for defense.
Prediction: Battalion in 6 games

No. 3 Kingston vs. No. 6 Peterborough
Season records: Kingston 39-23-3-3, Peterborough 32-30-0-6
Season series: Kingston won 4-2
Players to watch

Sam Bennett

Kingston – C Sam Bennett (36-55-91), LW Henri Ikonen (25-45-70), RW Spencer Watson (33-35-68), D Roland McKeown (11-32-43, +38), G Matt Mahalak (28-19-1-1, 3.59, .890, 3 SO)
Peterborough – LW Nick Ritchie (39-35-74), C Hunter Garlent (20-49-69), RW Eric Cornel (25-37-62), C Michael Clarke (21-27-48), G Andrew D’Agostini (25-21-0-2, 3.40, .901, 4 SO)
Outlook: The Frontenacs dominated the first four games in the season series. Yet the Petes responded with wins in the final two meetings. They will carry that momentum over into this series.
Prediction: Petes in 7 games

No. 4 Barrie vs. No. 5 Sudbury
Season records: Barrie 37-28-1-2, Sudbury 33-24-3-8
Season series: Sudbury won 5-3
Players to watch
Barrie – LW Andreas Athanasiou (49-48-95), D Aaron Ekblad

Aaron Ekblad

(23-30-53, +7), LW Zach Hall (16-54-70), LW Andrew Mangiapane (24-27-51), LW Brendan Lemieux (27-26-53)
Sudbury – RW Nicholas Baptiste (45-44-89), LW Nathan Pancel (42-32-74), C Matthew Campagna (15-59-74), D Trevor Carrick (22-29-51), C Connor Crisp (28-27-55, former Otter)
Outlook: The Wolves made bold moves at the trade deadline. They struggled down the stretch, but now is the time to make those moves pay off.
Prediction: Sudbury in 7 games

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: March 22nd, 2013

My apologies, this didn’t post for some reason yesterday …

Sean Day was happy and relieved to hear the news Thursday. The Ontario Hockey Federation announced that Hockey Canada granted exceptional player status to the 15-year-old defenseman , which allows him to enter the OHL Priority Selection a year early.
He joins former current New York Islanders center John Tavares (Oshawa, 2005), Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad (2011) and Erie Otters center Connor McDavid (2012) as the only players to receive early entry into the league.
Unlike his predecessors, Day reportedly isn’t guaranteed to be the No. 1 pick in the April 6 draft. Speculation has arisen about the Ottawa 67′s and their choice. Under league rules, the 67′s aren’t required to choose Day with that top pick. Day isn’t required to report to the club that picks him.
However, Day said during Thursday’s conference call that “I’m prepared to go anywhere,” he said. “Part of getting this (status) is to play in the OHL.”
Meanwhile, the Otters hold the No. 2 pick because they finished with the league’s second-worst record (19-40-4-5). Sherry Bassin, managing partner and general manager, was tight-lipped earlier this week regarding the pick. “We’ve got a pretty good idea,” Bassin said. “We’ll go with the best player.”
The Otters need help on a defense that allowed 312 goals this season, the second-worst total in the league. Day, a 6 foot 2 inch, 197-pound offensive defenseman, had 11 goals and 35 points in 63 games with Detroit-area Compuware’s minor midget club. “If you need me to play good defense, I can play that,” Day, a Belgian-born Canadian citizen who lives in Rochester, Mich., said during a conference call. “If you need a fourth forward, I can jump into the play.” Yet forwards such as Travis Konecny (Elgin Middlesex Chiefs) and Dylan Strome (Toronto Marlboros) are highly regarded. Earlier this week, Bassin said he needed the right complementary players to play alongside skilled performers like McDavid.
Keith Day, Sean’s father, said there has been no contact yet with officials from the 67′s or Otters.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 31st, 2011

The Ontario Hockey Federation announced on Thursday the results of the review by Hockey Canada in consideration of the application by Aaron Ekblad, determining that the player is to be granted “exceptional player” status and therefore is eligible for the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection on May 7.

The process was administered by Hockey Canada with a Special Evaluation Panel assembled to evaluate Ekblad’s hockey and academic documentation and assess his level of maturity in reaching their decision.

“The process established for the exceptional player is an extensive evaluation of the player in all aspects of life,” said OHF Executive Director Phillip McKee.  “Aaron should be very proud, just as the OHF is of him, for achieving the exceptional player status.”

Born Feb. 7, 1996, the 15-year-old Ekblad is a 6’03, 200 pound defenceman.  This season he played for the Sun County Panthers Minor Midget AAA program recording 34 points in 30 regular season games before producing 21 points in 18 playoff games.  Last season at 14-years-old, he was named a First-Team All-Star at the 2010 All Ontario Bantam AAA Championships after leading Sun County to an ALLIANCE Championship title.

Ekblad becomes the first player since John Tavares in May, 2005, to be granted “exceptional player” status.  Tavares was later selected first overall by the Oshawa Generals in the 2005 OHL Priority Selection and played four OHL seasons recording 433 points in 247 career games before being selected with the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders.

Ekblad is also one of 60 skaters that will participate in the 2011 OHL Development Combine powered by Under Armour this weekend at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.

- From OHL news release

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