Florida Panthers defenceman Aaron Ekblad told reporters at his team's locker room cleanout that he will play for Team Canada at the upcoming world hockey championship.
Ekblad is coming off a solid fourth season with the Panthers, playing in all 82 regular-season games and finishing with 16 goals and 22 assists. Ekblad's 16 goals were tied for fourth among defencemen this season, just one behind the leaders.
The 22-year-old has represented Canada at the world championship before, and suited up for Team North America at the World Cup.
Ekblad, the first overall pick of the 2014 draft, has played 309 career games in the NHL, registering 53 goals and 81 assists.
Panthers GM Dale Tallon added Tuesday the team's top forward, Aleksander Barkov, will not play for Finland at the world championship after suffering an injury late in the season.
New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad will also play in the tournament, suiting up for Sweden per the New York Rangers.