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Not an All-Star, but Aaron Ekblad has bigger goals in sight with Florida Panthers



Florida panthers ekblad
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has not only returned from his serious left ankle injury which ended his 2021 season — he has come back even better. // Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

SUNRISE — When Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a fractured leg, not many could have pictured him returning to the lineup in the way that he has.

”It was obviously a long summer,” Ekblad said. “I was able to be back on the ice 12 weeks after the injury and then I had two months of hard skating — maybe more, actually — before I played a game.

“That was huge for me, and I needed it. It has made it so I have been able to get to a certain level that I am used to.”

Since returning from his injury, Ekblad is on pace for the best season of his career, having 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) in 37 games.

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If Ekblad keeps his same pace over the entire season, he will finish with 77 points, a 31-point improvement from his previous high of 41 from the 2019-20 season.

You thought Aaron Ekblad was good before?

Look at him now.

“We’ve been fortunate to be together for a lot of years and grow together,” Jonathan Huberdeau said. “Last year, I thought he was unbelievable before he got hurt.

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