Mattias Hans Ekholm (born 24 May 1990) is a Swedish ice hockey defenceman and alternate captain for the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted 102nd overall, fourth round, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Predators.
24 May 1990|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)|
102nd overall, 2009|
While playing with Mora IK in Sweden, Ekholm was drafted in the fourth round, 102nd overall, by the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League (NHL). Following the draft, he participated in Predators 2009 Development Camp. After recording a blazing start with 7 goals and 5 assists in his first 14 games with Brynäs, Ekholm was announced to be the first of four Elitserien Rookie of the Year candidates for the 2010–11 season. He would go on to win the award.
Following the 2010–11 season, Ekholm signed a three-year entry-level contract to play with the Predators for the 2011–12 season. After attending their training camp, Ekholm was named to the Predators opening night roster for his North America debut. However, Ekholm was a healthy scratch for the first five games of the 2011–12 season before making his debut in their home opener against the Phoenix Coyotes. He played two games with the Predators before returning to Brynäs for the remainder of the season. This was due to a predetermined deal Ekholm made with the Predators during the summer. Ekholm tallied one goal and one assists in his first six games back in Sweden. He continued to produce and won the Borje Salming Award as the top defenseman in the Swedish Elite League after talling eight goals and 16 points in 40 regular-season games.
Ekholm returned to the Predators for the 2012–13 season but was re-assigned to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals on 12 September 2012. By December, Ekholm was leading all Milwaukee defensemen in scoring with four goals and seven assists for 11 points. Due to injuries, Ekholm earned an emergency recall to the NHL level on 15 April 2013. At the time, he had tallied 27 points through 55 games. He logged 16:05 minutes of ice time during a game against the Vancouver Canucks before being reassigned to the Admirals the following day. Ekholm ended the season with 32 points through 59 games.
In the second full year of his contract, Ekholm joined the Predators for the start of their 2013–14 season. He played on the Predators third line along with Seth Jones and Shea Weber. Ekholm scored his first NHL goal in a 3–2 win over the San Jose Sharks on 7 January 2014. He finished the season with nine points through 62 games and was one of six NHL defensemen to play at least 50 games and be assessed 10 or fewer penalty minutes. As such, Ekholm signed a two-year, $2.075 million contract with the Predators as a restricted free agent.
In the first year of his new contract, Ekholm changed his jersey number to 14 to match his World Championship number. Ekholm set career-highs in goals, assists, and points during the season with seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points.
On 13 October 2021, Ekholm signed a four-year, $25 million contract extension with the Predators with an annual average value of $6.25 million.
Ekholm is married to Ida Björnstad, a former sports broadcaster.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|World Junior Championships|
Awards and honoursEdit
|Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament - Gold Medal||2007|
|World Juniors - Bronze Medal||2010|
|Elitserien Rookie of the Year||2011|
|Salming Trophy (Defenseman of the Year)||2012|
|IIHF World Championships - Bronze Medal||2014|
|World Cup of Hockey - Bronze Medal||2016|
|IIHF World Championships - Gold Medal||2018|
|The Hockey News, Rod Langway Award (Best Defensive Defenseman)||2018|
- "Mattias Ekholm". eurohockey.net. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
- "Predators Take Seven Forwards and a Pair of Defensemen on Day Two of the 2009 Entry Draft". National Hockey League. 27 June 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Predators Development Camp To Open July 6 In Nashville". National Hockey League. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
- "Årets rookie, kandidat 1: Mattias Ekholm" (in Swedish). hockeyligan.se. 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2010.
- "Instant Analysis: Nashville Predators Defensive Prospects". predators.nhl.com. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
- "Preds Sign Prospect Mattias Ekholm". National Hockey League. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Nashville Predators Set Opening Night Roster". National Hockey League. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Russell, Jimi (4 December 2012). "Ekholm Eyes Another Shot at Nashville's Blue Line". National Hockey League. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "The Week Ahead... (Feb. 20)". National Hockey League. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Preds Prospect Update: Jan. 26". National Hockey League. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Preds Prospect Report: Nov. 8". National Hockey League. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Levin, Jay (28 March 2012). "Preds Prospects Succeeding In Post-Season Action". National Hockey League. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Preds Assign 22 Players To The Milwaukee Admirals". National Hockey League. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Nashville Predators Recall Mattias Ekholm From Milwaukee". National Hockey League. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Nashville Predators Reassign Three To Milwaukee". National Hockey League. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Mattias Ekholm". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Nashville Predators Set 2013-14 Opening Night Roster". National Hockey League. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Manasso, John (10 October 2013). "Nashville Predators Rookie Seth Jones Proves a Quick Study". National Hockey League. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Russell, Jimi (7 January 2014). "Nashville Predators 3, San Jose Sharks 2". National Hockey League. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Nashville Predators Sign Mattias Ekholm to a Two-Year Contract". National Hockey League. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Willis, Thomas (11 September 2014). "Ekholm Shortens Summer; Changes Number". National Hockey League. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Roman Josi Named Captain of the Nashville Predators" (Press Release). NHL.com. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
- "Ekholm week to week for Predators with undisclosed injury". National Hockey League. 11 February 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- "Predators Sign Mattias Ekholm to Four-Year, $25 Million Contract". National Hockey League. 13 October 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
- Bratten, Brooks (18 January 2019). "Preds' Significant Others Debut New Podcast: Off Ice with Ida & Julie". National Hockey League. Retrieved 19 December 2021.