Today in Hockey History: Florida Panthers Select Aaron Ekblad

Aaron Ekblad
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: First overall pick Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

During the NHL’s hiatus, we at the Last Word on Hockey are going to look back at each date’s historical significance to the game. We’ll remember the moments that shaped the sport of hockey that happened on this day. Here’s our look at this date in hockey history for June 27th, featuring Aaron Ekblad.

Today in Hockey History

Aaron Ekblad Goes No. 1 to Panthers

2014: The Florida Panthers select the Barrie Colts defenceman with the top pick in Philadelphia. Ekblad was one of the handful of players that were granted exceptional player status in juniors. The Windsor, Ontario native is the first defenceman to earn that distinction. He scored 23 goals and 53 points in the 2013-14 with the Colts.

His 12 goals and 39 points were enough to earn the Calder Trophy for top rookie in 2015. Ekblad also made the All-Star team that season and also in 2016. The Buffalo Sabres select Sam Reinhart while the Edmonton Oilers take Leon Draisaitl. Sam Bennett goes fourth to the Calgary Flames.

Other Notable Events

1950: Newsy Lalonde, Joe Malone, Scotty Davidson, Mike Grant, Si Griffis, Charles Drinkwater, George Richardson and Harry Trihey are all selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Frank Patrick also gets a nod in the Builders category.

1972: Bobby Hull leaves the NHL and signs with the Winnipeg Jets of the newly formed World Hockey Association. He signs a deal of $250,000 per season for the next 10 years.

1991: Edmonton names Ted Green as the team’s new head coach. He replaces John Muckler behind the bench.

1998: The Tampa Bay Lightning draft Vincent Lecavalier with the first overall choice. He becomes the youngest team captain in history two years later at 19 years, 314 days. Lecavalier helps Tampa win its only Stanley Cup in 2004. He wins the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2006-07 and retires in 2016 with 949 points (421 goals, 528 assists).

The Chicago Blackhawks add Paul Coffey from the Philadelphia Flyers for a fifth-round pick.

2003: Pat Quinn steps down at Toronto Maple Leafs general manager. He decides to stay on as the team’s head coach. John Ferguson, Jr. will eventually be hired in Aug.

2004: The St. Louis Blues acquire goalie Patrick Lalime from the Ottawa Senators. St. Louis gives up a conditional fifth-round pick in 2005.

Happy Birthday to You

1905: Armand Mondou

1926: Don Raleigh

1997: Calvin Thurkauf

1998: German Rubtsov

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