Colts top pick Aaron Ekblad was at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto Wednesday night to accept the Jack Ferguson Award as the league’s first overall pick.
Ekblad, 15 years old from Belle River, is the 2011 Jack Ferguson Award winner as the player selected first overall in the OHL Priority Selection. He is just the second Colts player to ever win the award after Daniel Tkaczuk was picked first by Barrie back in 1995.
On March 31, 2011, the Ontario Hockey Federation announced the results of the review by Hockey Canada in consideration of the application by the 15-year-old Ekblad, determining that the player is to be granted “exceptional player” making him the only 1996-born player eligible for the Priority Selection.
Ekblad becomes the first player since John Tavares in 2005 to be granted “exceptional player” status. Tavares was selected first overall by the Oshawa Generals and eventually became the first pick of the New York Islanders.
As a 14 year-old Ekblad led the Sun County Panthers to an ALLIANCE Championship title, and was named a First-Team All-Star at the 2010 All Ontario Bantam AAA Championships.
Last season Ekblad collected 34 points in 30 games played for Sun County before putting up 21 points in 18 post-season games.
This Saturday Ekblad will appear in Barrie for the Barrie Colts Celebrity Street Hockey Game at the CBC Play ON street hockey tournament. Ekblad will be joined by teammates Dylan Smoskowitz, John Chartrand and Norm Ezekiel. The game takes place at 12:00 p.m. this Saturday, June 11th in downtown Barrie, just outside of the Barrie Public Library.