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Eklund Talks Minor Injury, Zetterlund Brings Him Coffee

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

William Eklund started his season slow, but by the end of it, showed why he’s a big part of the San Jose Sharks’ future.

Points aren’t everything, but it’s a decent thumbnail for the 21-year-old forward’s first full season.

In his first 11 games, the 21-year-old forward has just one goal and one assist. He closed the year with six goals and nine assists in his last 14 contests.

Overall, Eklund was tied with Anthony Duclair for second on the Sharks with 16 goals, and second to leader Mikael Granlund with 29 assists and 45 points.

He also showed a disgust with losing and the coachability to learn defense that you need on the San Jose Sharks going forward.

Here are some of the highlights from his exit interview, including Fabian Zetterlund bringing him a coffee, an undisclosed injury, and what he’s looking to improve this summer.

Eklund also said that he’s been invited to play for Sweden at the World Championships but hasn’t made a decision on it yet.

Eklund, on his summer plans:

Going to Sweden, see my brothers, see my family, see my friends, take it from there. Figure out some stuff that has been bugging me during the season.

(San Jose Hockey Now note: Eklund clarified that the stuff “bugging” him” is injury-related, won’t require surgery, and that he’ll be fully healthy by training camp.)

Eklund, on how the San Jose Sharks get better next year:

We can be way better [than] this year. Coming into camp ready to go, everybody needs to buy in.

We can’t accept losing, can’t do that. If we’re going to get better as a team and as an organization, we got to have more competitiveness.

Eklund, on how he can be harder to play against:

Gain a little bit of weight. Be a little stronger.

Work on my craft and come back even better.

(SJHN note: In the middle of this interview, Zetterlund came out to bring Eklund what looked like a cup of coffee.)

(This was perhaps a jab at Eklund claiming, in an SJHN interview, to be the leader of the growing Swedish contingent in the San Jose Sharks organization.)

Eklund Subscriber Q&A: Who’s His Celebrity Crush? What Would His Job Be If Not Hockey? (+)

Eklund, on adding more strength:

Yeah, I will. Not too much. I want to be still slippery out there. (laughs) I need to do both.

Eklund, on playing center or wing, and what it means to be a top-six center in the NHL:

I can be both. I’m gonna work on that too. Get better at that stuff. Wherever coach puts me.

Good on both sides of the puck. So many good players play every night, you’re going to have to be good on both ends.

Eklund, on what clicked to end the season for him:

I feel like it went better because I simplified my game a little bit. Obviously got good help from Zetts and Granny. I’m just gonna go into next season and try to [produce] like that.

Watch Eklund’s full exit interview here

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