Luongo, Ekblad to represent Panthers at 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend
When all is said and done, it may be easier to simply list what Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad didn’t accomplish during his prodigious rookie season as he continues to garner a growing amount of accolades.
On Saturday, the NHL announced that the 2014 No. 1 overall pick will be joining goaltender Roberto Luongo as Florida’s representatives at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.
This marks the first time that two Panthers have been selected to participate in the NHL’s All-Star Weekend in the same season since 2009 when defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Michael Frolik, who competed in YoungStars competition, were both honored.
Ekblad, 18, will not be participating in the All-Star game, but has been selected to participate in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. He is one of six rookies chosen to participate this year. In 39 games this season, he ranks first among NHL rookie defenseman in goals (5), assists (18), points (23), plus/minus (+11) and shots (81).
Luongo, meanwhile, will be making his fourth career NHL All-Star game appearance and first since 2009 — he was voted in as the Western Conference’s starting goaltender in 2008, however, he did not participate. In 31 games this season, the 35-year-old netminder has posted a 16-7-7 record with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.
The 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend will be held from Jan. 24-25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.