In what is considered to be a weak draft coming up, one defensive prospect is set to be a powerhouse for years to come. Aaron Ekblad is a highly rated defensive prospect that is currently playing for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). His name has been thrown around so much that the NHL feature him in a Prospect’s Life video.
As Captain of the Colts, Ekblad put up excellent numbers for a defenseman. The 6’4″, 216 lbs beast tallied 53 points (23G – 30A) during the 2013-14 season. In his 175 games played so far in the OHL, Ekblad has registered 116 points. Averaging .66 points per game is pretty good for a defenseman.
Currently ranked second in the ISS Top 30, we go in-depth with Dennis MacInnis, Director of Scouting at ISS Hockey, and take a look at Aaron Ekblad. MacInnis even compares him to a star defenseman on the Nashville Predators. If you would like more information on the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and the prospects available for it, make sure to visit ISShockey.com. You can also purchase a draft guide to give you even more details about the prospects eligible for the 2014 Draft.
Born – February 7, 1996
Birthplace – Belle River, Ontario, Canada
Position – RD
Shoots – Right
Height – 6’4″
Weight – 216 lbs.
Penalty Box Radio: Briefly describe what makes Ekblad’s skill-set unique from others in the draft.
Dennis MacInnis: Ekblad is a sure fire NHL defenseman. His all-around game and maturity on the back-end separate him from the pack. His two way game and reliability will enable him to be an effective player in any game situation. He has a high chance of stepping in and contributing right away at the next level and growing into a top 4 defenseman.
PBR: What three teams that did not make the playoffs could benefit most from drafting Ekblad and why?
DM: Edmonton: desperately need to fill the defenseman pipeline gap.
Carolina: retooling club that values defensive style of play.
New York Islanders: The Isles need all the help they can get up and down the lineup but a defensive corner piece to go along with John Tavares makes a lot of sense.
PBR: What current NHL player would Ekblad be similar to once he reaches his prime?
DM: Shea Weber – Nashville…Comparable size, big right-handed defenseman who can provide points, has a bomb from the point, can play in every situation, and log a ton of minutes.
PBR: What ability does Ekblad have that would strike fear into opponents?
DM: Ekblad can shut down opposing offensive players and he seemingly is always on the ice….tough to play against physically and mentally.
PBR: Can you see Ekblad playing immediately in the 2014-2015 NHL season? If not, how far away is he?
DM: He probably has the best chance of any of this year’s prospects to step in to an NHL role next season. Ekblad has a proven history of successfully playing a level up against older competition. His maturity level on and off the ice will be an asset for him going into training camp.
*Header image courtesy Barrie Colts*