On this week’s episode of the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, we have an insightful interview with Rasmus Kågström of HockeySverige in Sweden. We ask him about William Eklund’s difficult season in the SHL, along with questions about Jonathan Dahlen, Linus Karlsson, Linus Oberg, and Theo Jacobsson.
Before that, we touch on the potential return of Kevin Labanc – we recorded this last Thursday night! — give our thoughts on a few of the younger San Jose Sharks’ players performances, and resurrect our SportLOGiQ stat of the week, focusing on San Jose’s dismal Offensive Zone Possession Time.
We kick things off with the most important injury update: Mushu is on the mend (1:02).
We talk Kevin Labanc, and why the San Jose Sharks should play him if his shoulder is ready (4:10).
We also bring up Mario Ferraro’s Wolverine-esque healing powers and discuss why a players’ competitive mentality drives them to play (19:00).
After our injury updates, we discuss a few of the younger Sharks players and give our thoughts on their play with the big club so far this season.
We chat Ryan Merkley (30:30), Sasha Chmelevski (40:24), John Leonard (46:28), and Scott Reedy (49:34).
Then we get to our SPORTLOGiQ stat of the week (58:31).
After our San Jose Sharks talk, we sit down with HockeySverige reporter Rasmus Kågström.
We start with the obvious talking point, William Eklund. And how he’s had a mostly disappointing season in the SHL for Djurgårdens (1:14:14).
Does Rasmus think sending Eklund back to Sweden has been an overall positive for his development (1:18:25)?
Can we use Lucas Raymond’s “okay” D+1 year in Sweden as a good comp for William Eklund’s success for the Sharks next season (1:19:28)?
Just how dysfunctional have things been at Djurgardens?
What is the overall sentiment as to why this season didn’t pan out well for Eklund in Djurgårdens (1:23:38)? And has this adversity helped him grow mentally as a player (1:24:48)?
How many points does Rasmus predict for Eklund in the NHL next year?
Our talk moves towards Jonathan Dahlen and his season with the Sharks so far. What does Rasmus think is more real, Dahlen’s early season hot start, or the slump that he’s kind of been in for the last couple months (1:30:28)?
Dahlen was traded for 2018 San Jose Sharks draft pick Linus Karlsson. Karlsson has 26 goals in just 52 games in the SHL this year. Instead of Dahlen being the one who got away for the Canucks, is Karlsson going to be the one who got away for the San Jose Sharks (1:35:18)?
Who does Rasmus forecast as having a better NHL career, Dahlen or Karlsson?
We also touch on a couple other Swedish Sharks prospects in Linus Oberg (1:40:27) and Theo Jacobsson (1:42:44).
Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper interview with a Swedish reporter without bringing up Erik Karlsson (1:43:57).
We finish up the interview and this episode with some draft talk. Rasmus gives us insight on first-rounders coming out of Sweden and tells us which of Eklund’s teammates he sees as projected first-round picks this year (1:50:10).
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