Shot: Ekblad possesses an absolute bullet of a shot. His one-timer from the left circle is deadly (especially on the power play), whereas his wrister can fool goaltenders from any remotely dangerous area on the ice. There’s just a ton of weight behind his release. Moreover, he does well to simply get his bids through traffic. That’s half the battle, after all.
Size: His 6’4”, 215-pound frame comes with many benefits. He’s a nightmare to contain on the offensive end and that strength and reach come in handy in the defensive zone. Even though his style doesn’t feature an ounce of nastiness, he can still dictate the action through sheer size and muscle.
Puck Skills: Ekblad is slicker than you might expect with the puck. He can maneuver through tight spots in the neutral zone and change the release point on his shot to baffle netminders. He’s also deceptive at the offensive blue line, pump-faking or moving east-west to create a more favorable shooting angle.
Tunnel Vision: Ekblad isn’t the best distributor. Though he’s a capable and accurate passer when he chooses to be, he mostly prefers being the recipient rather than the facilitator as he probes forward in search of scoring chances. He’s a lethal shooting threat, but his tunnel vision can sometimes hamstring his five-man unit’s impact.
Two-Way Game: He’s a potent offensive weapon and can be a solid defender, but he struggles to strike the right balance. When he’s in attack mode, he’s all in. When he opts for a more measured tack, he’s conservative to a fault, barely supplementing the offense. If he can find a middle ground, he’ll vault into the upper echelon of NHL blueliners.