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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

REVS 2014 Draft Prospects (#2 "Aaron Ekblad")

 REVS 2014 NHL Draft Prospects (August 10/13)
1.Sam Reinhart
2.Aaron Ekblad
3.William Nylander
4.Roland McKeown
5.Jake Virtanen
6.Blake Clarke
7.Nick Ritchie
8.Leon Draisatl
9.Michael Dal Colle
10.Jakub Vrana
11.Ivan Barbashev
12.Jared McCann
13.Anton Karlsson
14.Joshua Ho-Sang
15.Sam Bennett 

Aaron Ekblad
6'4 216 lbs

Aaron Ekblad is a CHL player in the OHL playing for the Barrie Colts.He was selected 1st overall in the 2011 OHL Entry Draft.His application for "exceptional player" status was approved unanimously. The only other players given such eligibility were John Tavares in 2005, Connor McDavid in 2012 and recently Sean Day.

Todd Cordell says - "I've seen Aaron Ekblad over 100 times and he is the real deal. Simply put, he can do it all. He's 6'4, 200+ pounds and he can skate very well. He's big, not afraid to be physical and is a rock defensively. He can move the puck, QB a power play and has a booming shot. He's also extremely smart and can play and exceed in all situations."

I would tend to say his greatest assets are his strength, accurate passing skills, powerful shot or his high hockey IQ not to mention his intelligence off the ice where he generally gets all A’s in school. As for coaching , his mentoring has come from Dale Hawerchuk, a former 1st OV in the NHL. 

Aaron has been compared to Seth Jones. Maybe some look at size, some look at him as a strong skater who can shoot but let's look at offence. 

This is where some believe Seth is more gifted in the offensive rush unlike Aaron who will be more cautious. Aaron produced an .46 PPG as a under ager and .63 PPG as 1 year younger then Seth Jones who posted an .92 PPG total on a loaded Portland Winterhawk team. The question is , 'will Aaron come in with comparables in his PPG as Seth did in his draft year?' IMO I see Aaron coming in around the .80 PPG but really like his defensive game most and his physical play.

Ekblad is a very humble but large defender and if he continues the growth curve over the next few years he could very well project as a top 2 defender in the future. It's pretty certain among most scouts that Aaron will at least fit well into a 3-4 role but his upside is a 1-2 role down the road.

In the meantime, 'Keep your stick on the Ice'!

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