Report: Panthers preparing to sign Ekblad to 8-year extension

Graig Abel / National Hockey League / Getty

With Aaron Ekblad eligible for a contract extension July 1, the Florida Panthers aren't going to waste any time locking up the star defenseman long term.

The Panthers are reportedly preparing to sign the 20-year-old to an eight-year extension worth around $60 million, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Both Ekblad and his agent declined comment.

At an average annual value of $7.5 million per year, the two-time All-Star would become the fifth-highest paid defenseman in the league behind only P.K. Subban, Shea Weber, Dustin Byfuglien, and Ryan Suter, per CapFriendly.

Drafted first overall in 2014, Ekblad won the Calder Trophy in his rookie season after a 39-point campaign. He followed that up with a career-high 15 goals this past season, helping lead his team to their second division title in franchise history.

An Ekblad extension would further solidify the team's blue line for the foreseeable future, after announcing the signing of Keith Yandle to a seven-year deal Friday.

Report: Panthers preparing to sign Ekblad to 8-year extension
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