Mattias Ekholm had a breakout season offensively alongside P.K. Subban on the Nashville Predators blue line, and he held his own defensively as well.
The Nashville Predators saw a very productive season from Mattias Ekholm, as he totaled 44 points last season, which tied him for 21st in points for defenseman last season and second on the Preds defensive unit behind Roman Josi.
Those 44 points were his career high, surpassing his previous high of 35 in 2015-16 and a ten point improvement of his 34 points in 2017-18.
On the power play, Ekholm produced seven points, which was a bright spot on an absolutely abysmal Nashville Predators power play.
Ekholm also had a career best plus/minus posting a +27, which was two points higher than his +25 from last season.
Ekholm has been steadily progressing over his six seasons in the NHL and with P.K. Subban gone, who he spent 59.1% of last season paired with, next season will prove to be an important one,
As for last season, it was another huge step up for Ekholm, as he improved both offensively and defensively this season.
Ekholm has proven to be one of the best offensive defensemen in the league, matching the likes of Oliver Ekman-Larsson in points, as well as falling one point behind Erik Karlsson, who is widely considered to be the best defenseman in the NHL.
Ekholm’s +27 ranked seventh out of all defensemen, and although plus/minus isn’t the best stat to go off, as it also has much to do with who your linemates are and how good your goaltender is, it does show that the Nashville Predators score more goals than they give up when Mattias Ekholm is on the ice.
However, Ekholm did dry up in the playoffs, putting up only two points and a -2 in their six game series against the Dallas Stars.
With that being considered, my grade for Mattias Ekholm this season would be a B+
This past season, Mattias Ekholm established himself as an important part of the Nashville Predators blue line, and fans can only hope that he can continue to step up next season.