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What’s Next Step for Eklund, Graf, Other Young Sharks?

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Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

David Quinn is gone, but it’s likely that the next head coach of the San Jose Sharks will want the same things that he did.

In Quinn’s exit interview last Saturday, he shared next steps for a number of the young players, hopefully the core of the next great Sharks team.

They’re still things to look for from William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau, Henry Thrun, Collin Graf, Filip Zadina, and Ty Emberson, if and when they’re back with the San Jose Sharks next year.

William Eklund

Quinn, on what Eklund needs to improve:

Grow his defensive game. I think that’s key for any young player. Make it more important to you than it is right now –
and that’s not a knock on him, that’s just a learned skill as you keep going through your NHL career.

Quinn, on if Eklund has the requisite desire to get better defensively:

He does. That’s why I’m so optimistic for him.

Quinn, on what Eklund learned playing center for the San Jose Sharks:

I think he learned the hard way the difficult side of the defensive responsibilities of a centerman.

Henry Thrun

Quinn, on Thrun’s next step:

He’s gonna be a guy that’s gonna have to play really good defense, make good outlet passes, and join the rush at the appropriate time. It really is that simple — his gaps are huge, his body positioning is huge, his stick is big. All those things are consistently going to allow him to be the player he’s capable of being.

Quinn, on Thrun’s offensive ceiling:

Offense is going to come from different ways. Is he going to be a No. 1 power play guy at this level? Probably not. He and I have talked about it.

But I never want to put a cap on anybody. For right now, his focus should be on playing defense day in and day out, being a good defensive defenseman who can make an outlet pass. As his game grows, maybe he turns into some type of power play player.

Thomas Bordeleau

Quinn, on how Bordeleau handed his end-of-the-season slump, how he managed the game:

He did a better job of it, for sure, but I think there’s another step for him to get to in that area. Think he got a little bit frustrated down the stretch when he wasn’t scoring, and maybe slipped a little bit in that area. Overall, it was a pretty good stint for him.

Collin Graf

Quinn, on what Graf has to work on this summer to crack the San Jose Sharks’ line-up next year:

His strength, his quickness, probably.

He’s got an NHL brain and he’s got an NHL skill-set, so that bodes well for him.

Filip Zadina

San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier, on Zadina:

I think there’s even more there, he’s just got to keep believing in himself and not being so hard on himself, and also not purely put his value into scoring goals. If he’s not scoring goals, I think he gets real down on himself, and he’s just got to learn to value the little things of the game of being good defensively and managing pucks and things like that.

It’s something he’s working on, and I think when that really clicks, I think there’s a player in there.

Grier on State of Sharks’ Rebuild, Free Agency Plans, Empty Seats at SAP Center & More (+)

Quinn, on Zadina’s ability to feel good about a game where he doesn’t score, but he’s solid otherwise:

It’s still a work in progress.

It does take time.

Ty Emberson

Quinn, on Emberson’s next step:

I think he’s a guy that can skate at this level, defend at this level — to stay healthy is his next step, really.

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