The Nashville Predators have signed Borlange, Sweden native Mattias Ekholm to a 3-year entry level contract. Here is the official wording from the Preds:
“Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed 2009 fourth-round pick Mattias Ekholm (mat-TEE-uhs EHK-hohlm) to a three-year entry level contract.
Ekholm, 20 (5/24/90), was named 2010-11 Elitserien Rookie of the Year award – following the likes of Patric Hornqvist, Nicklas Backstrom, Loui Eriksson and Henrik Zetterberg – after ranking fourth among Swedish Elite League defensemen in goals (10) and points (33) in his first full season with Brynas IF. The 6-4, 204-pound native of Borlange, Sweden also tied for fourth among SEL blueliners in power-play goals (5) and 11th in plus/minus rating. In 2009-10 with Mora, he led all junior players in Sweden’s second division (Allsvenskan) in assists (21), and ranked fourth among junior skaters in points (22).
Nashville’s seventh choice, 102nd overall, in the 2009 Entry Draft, Ekholm earned a bronze medal while representing Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championships, tying for the 2010 WJC lead with a +10 rating in the process. He also played for Sweden at the 2008 U-18 World Championships, notching a goal in six games, and won a gold medal with the Tre Kroner at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.”
Good thing the Preds acted fast considering as of June 1st, they would have lost his draft rights under a transfer agreement with Sweden. From the achievements this young 20-year-old has accomplished, I see great things from this kid. Two other important prospect the Predators are looking into are Switzerland native Roman Josi and Canadian Ryan Ellis. The question that comes up is, with so many defensemen, who is going to get traded? We’ll find out soon!