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Preview/Lines #10: Eklund Believes He Belongs in NHL



Credit: San Jose Sharks

“I feel like I belong here.”

William Eklund thinks he’s made his case to stay in the NHL.

Question is, do the San Jose Sharks agree? On the eve of their 2021 first-round pick’s ninth NHL game – if the Sharks keep him around after tonight, they will be burning the first year of his entry-level contract – they’ve yet to tell him if he gets to move out of the San Jose hotel that he’s been living at since September.

“I like it, actually,” Eklund said, laughing, about living in a hotel. “But it’d be nice to have something else.”

Eklund has notched four assists in eight games, but beyond that, he’s also been in the middle of a lot of offense.

The 19-year-old agreed: “I think I’m creating chances every game. Be a creative forward and get some scoring opportunities.”

A decent number of Eklund set-ups this season have resulted in Grade-A scoring chances — albeit unfinished Grade-A’s. And he still sees areas where he can improve offensively: “Taking the puck to the net a little bit more.”

San Jose Sharks (6-3-0)

Adin Hill starts and Artemi Kniazev will be making his NHL debut. John Leonard will be scratched and Santeri Hatakka is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

St. Louis Blues (6-1-1)

This is how the Blues lined up last night in their shootout loss to the Kings – will rookie Joel Hofer get his first NHL start? Jordan Binnington played in LA:

Where to Watch

Puck drop against St. Louis is 7:30 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports Bay Area and ESPN+. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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