• Preds' Ekholm Scores In Loss

    News: Mattias Ekholm scored his first playoff goal in Sunday's Game 3 loss to the Blackhawks.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm doesn't often work his way onto the scoresheet as the point was just his first in six games and his first goal in nine contests. The defenseman tallied a career-high 18 points throughout the season and provides solid production for the Predators, but it doesn't always translate for fantasy purposes.
  • Preds' Ekholm Opens Scoring In Win Over Habs

    News: Mattias Ekholm got his team on the board with a first-period goal in Tuesday's 3-2 OT win over the Canadiens. It was his 16th point of the season and first in 12 games.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm doesn't hit the scoresheet often, but with guys like Shea Weber and Roman Josi patrolling the Preds' blue line, he doesn't have to. The team counts on him for his defensive prowess first and foremost, so that means solid play in his own zone is a must. It doesn't translate into much fantasy value outside of deeper formats, but at least with Ekholm, you know what you're getting.
  • Preds' Ekholm Showing Physical Edge

    News: Mattias Ekholm failed to crack the scoresheet for the ninth straight game Sunday against the Ducks, but saw 20:09 worth of ice time and laid out a season-high five hits.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm doesn't score much - just 15 points in 69 games so far this season - but he's usually pretty reliable in his own zone and his physical game is on the rise. He's currently tied for fourth on the team in plus-minus with a +14 rating, he's hitting more compared to last season (52 vs. 42) and his blocked shots are up (82 vs. 55). Bottom line, Ekholm's efforts don't usually show up on the scoresheet, but he's starting to deliver more value in secondary stat categories. That's worth something in the fantasy world.
  • Preds' Ekholm Getting Noticed For Solid Play

    News: Mattias Ekholm's solid play on the Preds' blue line this season has been drawing rave reviews from the team's coaching staff, according to the Tennessean. "He provides really everything," coach Peter Laviolette said recently. "He's been outstanding this year."
    Analysis: While Shea Weber, Roman Josi, and Seth Jones are the Preds' defensemen that generally get most of the attention, Mattias Ekholm has also made an impact. "He's a big guy that skates really well," according to Laviolette. "He closes the defense quickly. He's got a good stick. His skill level is high. He can get out of our end. He can make little plays in the corners to find space to make breakout passes. He skates the puck out of our end and through the neutral zone effortlessly and offensively he can contribute. He plays all situations for us and is heavily counted on." From a fantasy perspective, Ekholm has just 14 points in 58 games, but his average ice time has risen from 16:49 per game last season to 18:59 currently, and he's now seeing occasional minutes on the second power-play unit. While Ekholm's fantasy value is still confined mainly to deeper formats, his stock is on the rise. Those of you in deep keeper leagues may want to take advantage.
  • Preds' Ekholm Returning Saturday

    News: Mattias Ekholm (upper body) will rejoin the Predators' lineup Saturday.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm had missed the team's last two games with the injury, but has been skating since Thursday. He will occupy a spot on the Preds' third defensive pairing next to Victor Bartley during Saturday's game.
  • Preds' Ekholm (Upper Body) To Sit Thursday

    News: Mattias Ekholm (upper body) will not play Thursday against the Jets.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm was able to resume skating with the team Thursday morning, but is still in need of more time to get back up to full speed following his injury. If he's able to get in another practice session Friday, Ekholm could be ready to go for Saturday's match against the Devils.
  • Preds' Ekholm Skates Thursday

    News: Mattias Ekholm (upper body) took part in the Preds' morning skate Thursday.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm filled in on the Preds' top pairing for Shea Weber, who took a maintenance day. It was Ekholm's first time on the ice since leaving Sunday's game, so he might not be quite ready to play Thursday against the Jets. If that's the case, Anthony Bitetto would likely fill in for him for the second straight game.
  • Preds' Ekholm Iffy For Tuesday

    News: Mattias Ekholm (upper body) did not participate in Tuesday's morning skate and is thus not expected to play later in the evening against the Lightning, The Tennessean reports.
    Analysis: If Mattias Ekholm is in fact unable to suit up Tuesday night against the Lightning, look for Anthony Bitetto to fill in for him on the Preds' blue line.
  • Ekholm Done With Upper-Body Injury

    News: Mattias Ekholm suffered an upper-body injury in Sunday's game against the Panthers and will not return, play-by-play announcer Willy Daunic reports.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm was in a collision against the boards in the second period, and the issue was apparently serious enough to prevent him from returning. The Predators will need to play the remainder of the game a blueliner down, but if the injury threatens to sideline Ekholm longer, the club may need to recall another defenseman.
  • Preds' Ekholm Gets Fifth Goal

    News: Mattias Ekholm scored his second goal in as many games Saturday against the Red Wings, lighting the lamp on his only shot attempt.
    Analysis: Mattias Ekholm continues to enjoy a career-best season, but his production isn't overwhelming in the fantasy realm. He has a respectable 13 points and a plus-14 rating over 44 games, which relegates his value primarily to deeper formats.