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Eklund’s 1st NHL Goal Ray of Light for Tired Sharks Fans

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

For a moment, San Jose Sharks fans remembered that they were primarily fans of the Sharks, and not of free tacos or a 25.5 percent chance at Connor Bedard.

William Eklund, the San Jose Sharks’ top prospect, scored his first NHL goal in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sharks, at the moment, are contending for the top Draft lottery odds with the Blue Jackets.

An announced 10,127 saw it, but what, maybe 6,000 or so people were actually here at SAP Center, weekday game, bad match-up, worse weather.

The seventh-overall pick of the 2021 Draft appeared in nine games for the San Jose Sharks last season and notched four assists. This season, in six contests now, he has a goal and an assist.

“It was a good battle in the corner. Hertl got it up to [Pouliot],” Eklund said. “Pully sent it to the net and I was able to tap in.”

Eklund (72) deserves a little credit too, for crashing the net at the exact moment that Derrick Pouliot (55) delivered his shot. It’s a good, basic read.

The big bodies on the ice too, Tomas Hertl (48) and Evgeny Svechnikov (10) were also instrumental too.

The much-maligned Hertl, in my opinion, has been back to his old ways in recent weeks with his customary strong puck protection, and he holds off 6-foot-3 Andrew Peeke (2) with world-class authority.

Meanwhile, Svechnikov occupies Jack Roslovic (96) and also screens Daniil Tarasov on Pouliot’s shot, setting up Eklund’s big moment.

“It’s special, of course. It’s something all kids dream of, first goal in the NHL,” the 20-year-old said. “Been waiting a while for this and had a lot of chances. So it was nice to finally get this one, keep on going from here.”

Eklund also reported that he has the puck from his first-ever goal.

For the San Jose Sharks as a franchise, hopefully their wunderkind can “keep on going from here.”

They’re headed to four years and running out of the playoffs, and reeling from trading homegrown star winger Timo Meier to the New Jersey Devils at the Trade Deadline for mostly futures, the fanbase could use something to look forward to now.

They got a glimpse of the future tonight, and paid it back in kind.

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