The Ontario Hockey Federation has announced Aaron Ekblad of the Sun County Panthers minor midget program has been granted exceptional player status for the Ontario League.
The 15-year-old is now eligible for the OHL’s draft a year earlier than he would have been.
Ekblad becomes the first player since John Tavares to be granted the status. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound defenseman had 34 points in 30 regular season games for the Panthers this season and 21 points in 18 playoff games.
The OHL draft will take place May 7 with the Barrie Colts holding the first overall selection.