• Ekblad was named the Ontario Hockey League’s Most Outstanding Defenseman in 2013-14, leading all blueliners with 23 goals and finishing tied for fifth with 53 points. He became just the third player in their 18-year-old birth year to claim the honor in the past 20 years, following Ryan Ellis (selected 11th overall by Nashville in 2009) of the Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and Bryan Berard (selected 1st overall by Ottawa in 1995) of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings in 1995.
• Named captain prior to the 2013-14 season, Ekblad led Barrie to a second-place finish in the Central Division and added 2-4—6 in nine playoff games. The Colts were eliminated in the second round by the North Bay Battalion.
• He played a top-four role as a 17-year-old on the Canadian defense at the 2014 World Junior Championship, registering 1-1—2 in seven games. Ekblad has shown leadership on the international stage, captaining Canada to the 2013 Under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial gold medal and serving as captain of Team Ontario at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
• Ekblad was granted exceptional player status by Hockey Canada to be eligible for the 2011 OHL Priority Selection as a 15-year-old. He was only the second player in OHL history to be given exceptional player status, following John Tavares in 2005. In his rookie season with Barrie, he recorded 10-19—29 in 63 games to earn OHL Rookie of the Year honors. He also was named to the OHL All-Rookie Team.
• A big-game performer, Ekblad finished with 7-10—17 and a plus-11 rating in 22 playoff games in 2012-13, helping Barrie finish first in the Central Division and reach the OHL Final against London.
EKBLAD PROVING TO BE AN EXCEPTIONAL TALENT (click here)
BARRIE’S EKBLAD NAMED OHL DEFENSEMAN OF THE YEAR (click here)
Detroit Red Wings
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