spoke with Islanders GM Garth Snow

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spoke with Islanders GM Garth Snow

Messagepar lw789 » 08 Juin 2017, 02:39

Aaron Ekblad may be the most mature 18-year-old hockey player on the planet. "Not only does he have a 30-year-olds physique under his equipment but he also thinks and acts like a 10-year NHL vet," said Dan Stewart, scouting director for the independent scouting service Future Considerations. Ekblad, a two-way, right-shooting defenceman, knows what he wants to be not only in this weeks NHL draft but as a professional. Hed love to go No. 1 and continue to mould himself in the images of Shea Weber, Alex Pietrangelo and Duncan Keith. More than anything, though, the Barrie Colts captain wants to be considered reliable on and off the ice. "I dont do too many things that are going to surprise anyone," Ekblad said at last months scouting combine. "Im going to be the kind of player that you know what youre going to get from me." Steady and dependable doesnt put butts in seats, but Ekblad isnt touting himself as a flashy kind of player. Instead, and more importantly, he has the potential to develop into a franchise cornerstone. Because of that, the Belle River, Ont., native is the front-runner to be the top pick Friday night in Philadelphia, whether the Florida Panthers choose to keep it or trade it. Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said last week he expected Ekblad to go No. 1 regardless. If that happens, Ekblad would be the first defenceman to be selected with the top pick since Erik Johnson in 2006, and the first Canadian-born blue-liner in that spot since Chris Phillips in 1996. Ekblad knows it has been a "long time" since a defenceman was drafted first. But it would come as no shock to NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr. "Aaron Ekblad is a hard player to go past in the draft, I think, for any of the teams, and they know that," Marr said at the combine. "There doesnt seem to be a will to take a defenceman high because a lot of times you dont get the quick bang for your buck." Ekblad wants to provide that, just as 2013 No. 4 pick Seth Jones did for the Nashville Predators. "A hundred per cent" he wants to be in the NHL next season, and he told that to all 16 teams that interviewed him. "Thats the way I believe in myself," Ekblad said. "I wouldnt say Im cocky, but Im confident and I believe that if I work hard and I do all the little things and pay attention to details, I can be in that league next year." With that confidence in mind, Ekblad still watched games this past season and recognized the NHL is a hard league to crack and that getting drafted is just a foot in the door. "It means nothing until you prove that youre ready to do it," he said. Scouts believe Ekblad is prepared to prove it. In the six-foot-three, 213-pound prospect, Ross MacLean of ISS Hockey, another independent scouting service, sees someone with skills to insulate himself from making mistakes and the maturity to be able to adjust to the next level. "Hes a kid that I think probably couldve played in the NHL this year, let alone next year," MacLean said. "I think we saw that with Seth Jones, as well, last year. Theyve just been put into positions where theyve been able to acclimatize and get comfortable and confident and develop their skills at the appropriate pace, and theyre ready for the next step." Typically, theres a learning curve for even the best young defencemen before they can become NHL regulars, let alone stars. But a handful from the top 10 of the 2012 draft, including the Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly, Anaheim Ducks Hampus Lindholm and Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Murray, played the full 2013-14 season and showed it may not be as steep as it once was. During the season, then-Predators and now Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz theorized that its because junior hockey has more pro systems designed to help defencemen adapt quicker. Stewart thinks Ekblad can adjust on the fly because of his awareness. After being given the captaincy in Barrie, Ekblad "was trying to do everything," Stewart said, before recognizing his weaknesses and dialling back to what hes good at. "He has shown time and time again that he learns from mistakes," Stewart said. "Ekblad is always thinking and while he does make some mistakes from time to time, he also shows an ability to compensate for any situational deficiencies. Because of his slower feet, while defending speedy forwards attacking the zone, he gives himself a little larger gap than say if he were going up against someone he feels he can easily wedge off the puck. "Its his advanced thinking on the fly and understanding of his position that should benefit him quickly at the next level." Physically, Ekblad is undoubtedly NHL-ready. After earning exceptional status to play in the OHL at the age of 15, he has gone through three junior seasons in Barrie and held his own at the world junior championship. Stewart was impressed with how Ekblad handled pressure situations and defensive responsibilities while playing for Canada at the world juniors. In Barrie, Colts teammate, roommate and best friend Brendan Lemieux — a projected first- or second-round pick in his own right and the son of former NHL agitator Claude Lemieux — saw Ekblad show even more. "Ek really showed that he was willing to stand up and answer the bell, even with his gloves off. I watched him pound a few guys this year," Lemieux said at the combine. "He might not show that physical presence and how big he is and how tough he can be, but hes a tough guy, too. Hes not just a super-skilled big guy, hes a super-skilled big, tough guy." Ekblad is certainly better known for his 23 goals and 30 assists than his three fights, and it was that offence balanced with defensive acumen that earned him OHL defenceman of the year honours. Its hard to be upset about that kind of season, but Ekblad insisted hes not satisfied with what he showed scouts. "Thats kind of the way everyone here should be thinking: I believe I can always be better," he said. "You look back on some games, some shifts and (think), What if you did this instead of that? I wouldnt say I have any regrets, per se. I think I had a pretty good year. But theres always things you couldve done." --- Follow @SWhyno on Twitter Obi Melifonwu Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Marshawn Lynch Raiders Jersey . FLIP SAUNDERS (Timberwolves): Im not the least bit surprised that he appointed himself as head coach after his search concluded. http://www.proraidersauthentic.com/auth ... rs-jersey/. However, Jim Popp isnt sure how long hell be able to admire wide receiver Duron Carter. Eddie Vanderdoes Raiders Jersey . -- Mississippi State was crushed twice by Florida last season, once by 35 points and the other by 25. Marshawn Lynch Youth Jersey . The former Edmonton Oilers defenceman was with the St. Louis Blues in training camp on a professional tryout. Whitney, 30, had four goals and 13 points in 34 games with the Oilers last season.The New York Islanders and goaltender Jaroslav Halak have agreed to terms on a four-year, $18 million contract. Halak, 28, split his eighth NHL seasons between the St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals, compiling a 29-13-7 record in 52 games. The Bratislava, Slovakia, native was dealt from St. Louis to Buffalo for a package that included Ryan Miller and Steve Ott on March 1, 2014 and was then traded to Washington on March 5, 2014 before playing a game with the Sabres. The Islanders acquired Halak from Washington in exchange for the teams fourth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft on May 1. That fourth-round pick had been acquired in a trade with Chicago on February 6, 2014 in exchange for forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin. According to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun, the Islanders may not be done signing goaltenders this summer. LeBrun spoke with Islanders GM Garth Snow,, who told him the team remains interested in signing veteran goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, though a deal isnt guaranteed to be completed.dddddddddddd In 272 career NHL games with the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis and Washington, Halak has a 144-85-29 record with a 2.38 goals-against average, a .918 save percentage and 30 shutouts. Hes also appeared in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games with Montreal and St. Louis, compiling a 10-11 record with a 2.42 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. Halaks career highlights include leading Montreal to the Eastern Conference Final in 2010 and winning the Jennings Trophy in 2011-12 for backstopping St. Louis to the fewest goals allowed in the league. Montreal selected Halak in the ninth round (271st overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft. On the international stage, Halak represented Slovakia at two Winter Olympic Games, three World Championships and two Junior World Championships. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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