Mattias Ekholm was recalled by the Nashville Predators Monday, hours prior to puck drop against the Vancouver Canucks. The Swedish born defenseman was called up under “emergency conditions” as Kevin Klein is added to the injured list.
Klein received the “A” from the coaching staff with Patric Hornqvist suffering from an upper body injury Sunday against Detroit, but it appears the patch will not stay on long.
Last season, Ekholm started off the year with the Predators, but was sent back to play for Brynas in the Swedish Elite League because he was supposedly on head coach Barry Trotz’s dog house. The 22 year old returned to North America this year to play in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. In 55 games, he posted 27 points (9g, 18a) and is a +9.
Surprisingly, Nashville didn’t recall Ryan Ellis, who spent the majority of the season on the Preds’ roster. Ellis played in 32 games and totaled two goals, four assists and was a -2.
The theory I can come up with is the coaching staff believes Ekholm is a much more solid defensive defenseman that can handle second line duties, opposed to offensive defensemen Ellis and Jon Blum.
Indeed, this team is starting to look more and more like the “Nashville Admirals”, rather than the Nashville Predators.