The Florida Panthers are placing D Aaron Ekblad on long-term injured reserve due to a lower-body injury. Ekblad was forced to leave Monday’s loss to the Boston Bruins after playing just 15:10 of ice time. The Panthers did mention that the Ekblad injury isn’t season-ending and it’s closer to “short-term” than long.
This is a tough break for the Panthers early in the season. Florida is 2-1-0 but it’ll be tough operating without your top defenseman for any period of time. The Panthers lose their top-pairing defenseman and power-play quarterback. With Ekblad out, the Panthers are going with Marc Staal and Gustav Forsling on the top defense pairing. Florida is also giving a five-forward look on the first power play, which may not last.
Forsling is a very appealing fantasy hockey target on the waiver wire. He should continue to lead the Panthers defensive unit in ice time and is already off to a strong start with three points in three games with 10 shots on goal. Brandon Montour feels like the other defenseman who could step up and be more involved on offense.