The $7.5 million annual average will make this the most lucrative deal in the history of the Panthers. It is going to make Ekblad NHL’s fifth highest-paid defensemen, following P.K. Subban at $9 million, Shea Weber at $7.8, Dustin Byfuglien at $7.6, and Ryan Suter at $7.53.
After the 2014-15 season, Aaron Ekblad won the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year, following with yet another strong season as one of the Panthers’ top defensemen.
In just 2 seasons, 20-year-old Ekblad has 27 goals and 48 assists for 75 points. He will be starting his contract extension with the 2017-18 season.