That was great – don’t do it again.
That was the basic message that top San Jose Sharks prospect William Eklund, better known for using his hands to set up his teammates, received after his first pro fisticuffs on Wednesday against Glenn Gawdin.
“I just saw him hit [Brandon Coe]. I was like I’m gonna step in there and protect him,” the 5-foot-11 winger told San Jose Hockey Now. “I’m not a big fighter, but when the time comes, I have to do that.”
So what was the exact message from the San Jose Barracuda coaching staff afterwards?
“They liked that I stepped up for him,” Eklund said.
“I thought it was good, he stood up for his teammate, it’s for a good reason,” head coach John McCarthy noted. “Probably not something we want to see him doing a lot but speaks to his character, speaks to his competitiveness. That was a positive. And he did well. He hung in there.”
The San Jose Sharks’ 2021 first-round pick laughed when asked how his parents Christian and Mia reacted. Christian Eklund was a SHL fan favorite.
“He was like good fight but never do that again. Mom too, she was like what happened there?” the 20-year-old shared.
What’s next for Eklund? Will he seek out San Jose Sharks organization pugilists like Jeffrey Viel or Jonah Gadjovich for pointers?
“I don’t know about that,” he smiled.
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