The injury train has stopped at Nashville Predators Station once again, this time claiming reliable defenseman Kevin Klein. That means it’s time for another of the Preds’ AHL players to get the call-up to the big club. This time around it’s blueliner Mattias Ekholm:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Mattias Ekholm (mat-TEE-uhs EHK-hohlm) from Milwaukee (AHL) under emergency conditions.
Ekholm, 22 (5/24/90), has 27 points (9g-18a) in 55 games for the Admirals in 2012-13, his first full North American campaign. The 6-4, 202-pound native of Borlange, Sweden began last season with the Predators – playing in two games – before returning to Brynas of the Swedish Elite League (Elitserien) where he won the 2012 Borje Salming Award as the league’s top defenseman, and helped Brynas claim the 2012 Le Mat Trophy as Elitserien champions.
Nashville’s seventh choice, 102nd overall (fourth round), in the 2009 Entry Draft, becomes the fifth member of the Preds ’09 draft class to play for the team this season, joining Gabriel Bourque, Ryan Ellis, Taylor Beck and Craig Smith.
Ekholm will replace Klein, who was apparently injured during last night’s contest with the Detroit Red Wings. He is currently en route to Nashville and will be here in time to play the Vancouver Canucks tonight.
The last two weeks have seen several call-ups under emergency conditions due to injuries to Preds players. Daniel Bång, Ryan Ellis, Chris Mueller and Austin Watson have all joined the Preds from Milwaukee under such circumstances since the start of April. And while Filip Forsberg’s arrival isn’t technically the same kind of roster move, it most likely wouldn’t have happened before next season if the Preds hadn’t desperately needed warm bodies. If the playoffs were still within reach this would be a troubling development. Instead it’s a chance to see another of Nashville’s highly touted prospects before he has a chance to earn a regular job here.