Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad living up to hype of being former first overall pick

Ekblad having career year both offensively and defensively

Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers prepares for a face-off against the Winnipeg Jets at BB&T Center on November 14, 2019.
Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers prepares for a face-off against the Winnipeg Jets at BB&T Center on November 14, 2019. (Getty Images)

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Aaron Ekblad exudes all the qualities that one would want to see from a former first overall pick.

Talent? Obviously.

Strong? You better believe it.

Smart? Extremely.

He performs at an exceptionally high level, night in and night out, doing it while skating at a position that rarely allows younger players to succeed.

Ekblad, now a ripe 24 years old, is a veteran of this league, with a wealth of knowledge and experience seldom seen in someone his age.

Case in point: Most 24-year-olds haven’t played anywhere to close 450 games in the NHL, a milestone Ekblad surpassed last month.

From his first days as a member of the Florida Panthers, Ekblad has always appeared to be ahead of his time.


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