Want your first look at William Eklund skating in a San Jose Sharks uniform?
A source has confirmed to San Jose Hockey Now that Eklund will be coming to Sharks development camp, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 15 through Aug. 20. The prospects scrimmage is likely on Aug. 19.
There were some questions as to whether or not Eklund would attend. The seventh-overall pick of the 2021 NHL Draft is currently sitting out the 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase to recuperate from a long year. On top of being forced to sit out the World Junior Championships in December because of a positive COVID-19 test, Eklund also suffered an emergency appendectomy in January.
“We are going to work to get him over to development camp,” San Jose Sharks director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr. said on drafting Eklund, “and get him into San Jose to get to know him even better.”
It looks like that work has been done: Eklund will take his first reps in teal in two weeks. Eklund is allowed to attend development camp without an entry-level contract.
As to Eklund’s plans after development camp? The Swedish prospect stated before the Draft, “I think I have one more year in Europe, to develop into a better player here. I’ve seen a lot of players come back to Sweden to develop and it’s a good thing.”
There’s no doubt that the San Jose Sharks are supportive of their top prospect’s wishes.
“William has expressed what he thinks, what his best plan is,” Wilson Jr. said on Jul. 23, “and it’s probably a very good one.”
Historically — case in point, Jonathan Dahlen, who’s chosen to spend the last two seasons in second-division Swedish hockey — the Sharks are patient with their prospects.
That said, my educated guess is that the San Jose Sharks haven’t completely ruled out Eklund making an early jump to the NHL. They’ll like to at least see what they’ve got in him until they come to a final decision.
A note on Eklund: He can play in NHL next year if that's what he/#SJSharks want. Per IIHF transfer agreement, 1st rounders can basically choose where they want to play. This doesn't apply to KHL; Russia didn't sign agreement. Should learn more abt Ek's immediate future soon
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) July 25, 2021
That first look will be in two weeks. Buckle up, San Jose Sharks fans — the William Eklund era is beginning.
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