Panthers sign Aaron Ekblad to eight-year, $60 million extension


The Florida Panthers have signed defenseman Aaron Ekblad to an eight-year, $60 million contract extension with an average annual value of $7.5 million.

Ekblad, 20, was selected first overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He scored 15 goals and 36 points in 78 regular-season games this past season, and he has 27 goals and 75 points in 159 career regular-season games through two seasons with the Panthers.

Ekblad tallied only one assist in six playoff games in Florida’s first-round loss to the Islanders this postseason, but the Panthers are still very much a playoff threat.

Ekblad enters this season on the final year of his entry-level contract. The new deal will kick in at the start of the 2017-2018 season.

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