Aaron Ekblad Signs Extension with Florida

After acquiring Keith Yandle‘s rights and locking him up to a long-term deal, the Panthers have locked up their pillar at the blueline for many years to come.


Aaron Ekblad Signs Extension with Florida

Worth $7.5 million over the next 8 years starting in the 2017-2018 season, Aaron Ekblad‘s new deal will run through the 2024-2025, where he will be 29. The Panthers’ restructured management group led by Tom Rowe has been quite aggressive this offseason and has made a statement with Ekblad and Yandle likely being the top-2 defensemen for Florida’s foreseeable future.

This past season with the Panthers, the 20-year old showed no signs of a sophomore slump post Calder, scoring double digit goals for the second straight season putting up 15 to go along with 36 points in 78 games. He led the team in shots with 182 after coming in second last season and was one of two Panthers defensemen to post a CF% over 50% at 51.4%. The playoff jitters were likely evident in Ekblad and it trickled down to most of the team, as he tallied just one assist in the six-game series loss to the Islanders.

contract agreed upon by Ekblad and Florida will be the first contract of Ekblad’s career other than his entry level contract he signed when he was selected first overall in 2014. This deal will secure him with the team until the 2024-2025 season where Ekblad will be 29 years old a couple years into his prime. The deal is worth $60 million over eight years, and this contract will make him the only player under 23 years old currently making over $6 million AAV.

This season opened the door for new opportunities down the road as this was the first appearance by the Panthers in the postseason since 2012, the first for a younger group that now contains Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Reilly Smith, Nick Bjugstad, and Jonathan Huberdeau among others. The experience for them will be important down the road as Florida looks to take steps to a Stanley Cup.

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