Ekblad out for season with leg fracture
Florida Panthers All-Star defenceman Aaron Ekblad will miss the rest of the season after suffering a left leg fracture Sunday night against the Dallas Stars, reports TSN's Frank Seravalli.
The 25-year-old requires surgery to repair the injury.
The Panthers confirmed later Monday that Ekblad underwent surgery and is expected to be out of the lineup for the next 12 weeks.
"To be without a player of Aaron's caliber and character is an irreplaceable loss to our hockey club," said general manager Bill Zito. "Aaron is an incredibly driven and talented young player and a tremendous leader for our team. He has the heartfelt support of our organization, his teammates and fans as we wish him the best in his recovery and his eventual return. Despite Aaron's absence from our lineup, we are confident in our group's resiliency and motivation as we move forward."
Ekblad got tangled up with Stars defenceman Esa Lindell midway through the second period and went down to the ice awkwardly. Ekblad was in noticeable pain and needed the help of a stretcher to get off the ice.
The Canadian has 11 goals and 11 assists over 35 games this season with the Panthers, his seventh with the team since Florida selected him first overall in 2014.
Ekblad has 82 goals and 152 assists over 493 career games in the NHL.