July 1: George Richards of the Miami Herald reports that an eight year, $60MM deal has been agreed on in principle. He adds that the deal will not likely be officially announced today but should be in the coming days.
June 24: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Florida Panthers is preparing a long-term extension offer for D Aaron Ekblad. It’s believed that the offer will be the maximum of 8 years at around $60MM in total. No deal could be finalized until at least July 1st as no extensions can be signed until there is one year or less remaining on a contract. Friedman also notes that both the team and Ekblad’s representation declined to comment on the report.
Ekblad was the first overall pick in the draft in 2014 and made the jump to the NHL right away. He quickly became a top pairing option for the Panthers, averaging just shy of 22 minutes per game last season, a number that jumped to 25:37 per night in Florida’s first round playoff loss to the New York Islanders.
In two seasons, Ekblad has played in a total of 159 games, scoring 27 goals and adding 48 assists.