NHL's top pick Ekblad sustains concussion in exhibition game

Wednesday August 6th, 2014

The Florida Panthers are already dealing with an injury to their top rookie just over a month after selecting him with the top pick in the NHL draft. Aaron Ekblad sustained a concussion in an exhibition game against the Czech Republic at Canada's world junior summer development camp, Team Canada and the Panthers announced

He will be held out of the rest of summer development camp, but is expected to be ready for Panthers rookie camp in September. 

Ekblad, a defenseman, was the top pick in June's draft after playing last season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. 

More: Is Kimmo Timonen's career over?

Panthers GM Dale Tallon released a statement on Ekblad's injury: 

"As announced earlier today by Team Canada, D Aaron Ekblad suffered a concussion during an exhibition game last night. We have been in communication with Team Canada and have mutually agreed to hold Aaron out for the remainder of the summer development camp, as a precautionary measure. We will closely monitor Aaron’s health for the remainder of the off-season and expect him to be ready for our rookie camp in mid-September."

Ekblad was injured on a hit from Czech Lukas Klok with 6:08 remaining in the third period.  

- Alex Hampl


SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.