Canada's Ekblad taken as top pick of NHL Draft by Panthers

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 27, 2014 7:30 PM

(Reuters) - Defenseman Aaron Ekblad from the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts was taken with the number one pick of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center on Friday.

The 18-year-old Canadian, who is 6-foot-4 (1.93m), ended his third season in the Ontario Hockey League with career-highs in goals (23) and assists (30) and is considered a solid player with on-ice maturity who can log big minutes.

The Buffalo Sabres selected Vancouver-born center Sam Reinhart with the second pick, and German Leon Draisaitl was taken number three by the Edmonton Oilers.

Draisaitl is the highest German player ever selected in the NHL Draft.

The 18-year-old center from Cologne has been playing for the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles and Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Gene Cherry)