banner
NHL

Canes take defenseman with No. 7 NHL pick

Posted June 26, 2014
Updated June 27, 2014

Aaron Ekblad pulls on Florida Panthers sweater after being chosen first overall during the NHL hockey draft, Friday, June 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

— After the obligatory Philadelphia tour that included cheesesteaks, a run up to the Rocky statue and a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park, the top NHL prospects got down to business Friday night when the Florida Panthers drafted defenseman Aaron Ekbladl first overall.

The 6-foot-4, 214-pound Ekblad played for Barrie in the Ontario Hockey League. He is the first defenseman to go No. 1 since St. Louis took Erik Johnson in 2006.

The Panthers had a top-three pick in the NHL draft for the fourth time in the past five years. The first three — defenseman Erik Gudbranson (in 2010), wing Jonathan Huberdeau (2011) and center Aleksander Barkov (2013) — all played significant roles last season.

When the Carolina Hurricanes' turn came at No. 7, they too went with defense, drafting Haydn Fleury.

New GM Ron Francis and head coach Bill Peters had just about a week to officially put their heads together on the pick, and focused on the back line as expected.

Fleury, at 6'3" and 205 pounds, is was the second-highest rated prospect on defense going into the draft. The scouting line on him noted his outstanding skating and puck handling.

Flyers fans packed the arena for the first draft in the city. They gave one of the longest sustained boos in recent memory for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's draft introduction. He was drowned out for most of his two-minute speech thanking the city for its hospitality.

"Isn't this supposed to be the city of brotherly love," he asked.

Former Flyer Rod Brind'Amour received a huge ovation when the Carolina assistant coach made the pick for the Hurricanes.

The Sabres selected center Sam Reinhart with the second overall pick. He is the son of former NHL player Paul Reinhart, who was selected by the Atlanta Flames in the first round in 1979.

Reinhart has the potential to be a top-line center in filling a key need for the rebuilding Sabres, who are coming off one of their worst seasons in franchise history. Buffalo (21-51-10) finished last in the NHL standings, and set a franchise record for losses.

The Edmonton Oilers selected center Leon Draisaitl with the third overall pick, Calgary took center Sam Bennett with the fourth pick and the New York Islanders picked forward Michael Dal Colle fifth. Vancouver selected forward Jake Virtanen with the sixth pick, and Carolina took defenseman Haydn Fleury seventh.

There was a big trade in the hours before the draft, when the Anaheim Ducks acquired center Ryan Kesler from the Vancouver Canucks for center Nick Bonino, defenseman Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick Friday.

The 29-year-old Kesler is a standout two-way center who has spent his entire 10-season career in Vancouver, compiling six 20-goal seasons and 392 career points. The two-time U.S. Olympian won the Selke Trophy in 2011 as the NHL's best defensive forward.

1 Comment

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • ktstcanes Jun 27, 2014

    Really wanted Nick Ritchie with this pick. Would have been protection for Skinner.

  • Hoops Headquarters: Run for Redemption

    Friday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Premier League Soccer: Southampton vs. Bournemouth

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Golf: Shell Houston Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Figure Skating Championships

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Boston @ Chicago

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: NCFC at San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NASL: NCFC @ Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • NHL: Canes v. Detroit

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Cleveland at San Antonio

    Tonight at 8:00 on Buzz Sports Radio

  • NHL: Canes v. Detroit

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Canes v. Columbus

    Thursday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: NCFC at San Francisco

    Saturday, Apr. 8 at 10:00 pm

  • NASL: NCFC vs. Edmonton

    Saturday, Apr. 15 at 7:30 pm

  • NASL: NCFC at Miami

    Saturday, Apr. 22 at 7:30 pm

NBA Scoreboard
Detroit 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
New York 
Orlando 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Toronto 
Cleveland 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CTNaN:�
Preview
San Antonio 
Oklahoma City 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Dallas 
Memphis 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Sacramento 
New Orleans 7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 MST9:30 EST6:30 UAE (+1)04:3022:30 ET9:30 CTNaN:�
Preview
Utah 
NHL Scoreboard
Florida 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Buffalo 
Nashville 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
NY Islanders 
Detroit 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 MST6:00 EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Carolina 
Chicago 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 MST6:30 EST3:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Tampa Bay 
Arizona 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
St. Louis 
Colorado 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT
Preview
Calgary 
MLB Spring Training
Cactus
Kansas City1Bot
1st
Oakland1
Colorado0Bot
1st
Texas0
Chi White Sox1Bot
1st
LA Dodgers2
Cincinnati0Bot
1st
San Francisco2
Seattle0Bot
1st
San Diego4
LA Angels0Bot
1st
Arizona0
Chi Cubs 6:10 PT7:10 MT8:10 CT9:10 ET21:10 ET1:10 GMT9:10 6:10 MST8:10 EST8:40 VEN5:10 UAE (+1)8:10 CT
Cleveland 
Grapefruit
Boston11Final
Baltimore9
NY Mets(ss)5Final
Miami0
Washington6Final
NY Mets(ss)0
Detroit 3:05 PT4:05 MT5:05 CT6:05 ET18:05 ET22:05 GMT6:05 3:05 MST5:05 EST5:35 VEN2:05 UAE (+1)5:05 CT
Atlanta 
St. Louis 3:05 PT4:05 MT5:05 CT6:05 ET18:05 ET22:05 GMT6:05 3:05 MST5:05 EST5:35 VEN2:05 UAE (+1)5:05 CT
Houston 
Minnesota 3:05 PT4:05 MT5:05 CT6:05 ET18:05 ET22:05 GMT6:05 3:05 MST5:05 EST5:35 VEN2:05 UAE (+1)5:05 CT
Pittsburgh 
Philadelphia 3:07 PT4:07 MT5:07 CT6:07 ET18:07 ET22:07 GMT6:07 3:07 MST5:07 EST5:37 VEN2:07 UAE (+1)5:07 CT
Toronto 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Rochester 11:05 PT12:05 MT1:05 CT2:05 ET7:05 GMT
Syracuse 
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 11:05 PT12:05 MT1:05 CT2:05 ET7:05 GMT
Buffalo 
Pawtucket 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Lehigh Valley 
Toledo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Indianapolis 
Norfolk 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Charlotte 
Columbus 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Louisville 
Durham 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Gwinnett 
WGC Match Play (PGA)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
JOHNSON v Rahm181 up
Tanihara v HAAS172 and 1
View Full Leaderboard
 
Kia Classic (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1M. Lee-20F
2tA. Ernst-14F
2tS. Ryu-14F
4tM. Hur-12F
4tK. Icher-12F
4tC. Kerr-12F
4tS. Park-12F
4tG. Piller-12F
9S. Feng-11F
10I. Chun-10F
View Full Leaderboard
 
WGC Match Play (EURO)
Leader in BOLD/CAPS
MatchHScore
JOHNSON v Rahm181 up
Tanihara v HAAS172 and 1
View Full Leaderboard
 
ATP Scoreboard
Monday, Mar. 27
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
Third Round
(10) T. Berdych6 6    
(24) G. Muller3 4    
A. Mannarino6 2 77   
B. Coric4 6 63   
(14) R. Bautista A3 6 6   
(22) S. Querrey6 2 3   
(4) R. Federer6 6    
(29) J. Del Potro3 4    
(12) N. Kyrgios1     
(17) I. Karlovic2     
(16) A. Zverev 
(18) J. Isner 
(8) D. Goffin 
D. Schwartzma 
(1) S. Wawrinka 
M. Jaziri 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Monday, Mar. 27
Miami Open (ATP/WTA)
Fourth Round
(4) D. Cibulkova65 1    
L. Safarova77 6    
(2) K. Pliskova6 6    
(15) B. Strycova1 4    
(6) G. Muguruza61 0    
(12) C. Wozniacki77 0    
(1) A. Kerber6 6    
R. Ozaki2 2    
(26) M. Lucic-Baro2     
B. Mattek-San3     
(10) J. Konta 
L. Arruabarre 
(3) S. Halep 
(14) S. Stosur 
(7) S. Kuznetsova 
(11) V. Williams