The Florida Panthers selected first overall for the first time in 20 years and just as they did in 1994, they took the top defenseman available at the NHL Entry Draft. Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts was the Panthers’ top choice, giving them a possible immediate addition to their blue line and one of the better defensive prospects over the last few drafts.
Ekblad comes in at 6-foot-4, 214 pounds, similar in size already to the guy the Panthers picked first overall in 1994, Ed Jovanovski. The 18-year-old is good at both ends of the ice and possesses immense physical strength that makes him difficult for opposing forwards to handle. He also put up 23 goals and 53 points last season.