Panthers' Ekblad to stay with team for remainder of season

Timothy T. Ludwig / USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Ekblad scored his first NHL goal in his ninth game as a member of the Florida Panthers, all but guaranteeing he'd suit up for his 10th sooner than later.

After the 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Panthers made it official.

As his Twitter handle suggests, Ekblad - drafted first overall by the Panthers in June - remained eligible to be returned to the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts. Once he reached the 10-game mark, however, the Panthers would burn the first year of his entry-level contract.

The 18-year-old has proved his mettle at the NHL level with a goal and two assists in nine games, as well as a steadiness beyond his years in the defensive zone.

With the announcement from Florida, it's officially the beginning of what's expected to be a long and fruitful career for this young Cat.

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Panthers' Ekblad to stay with team for remainder of season
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