The swirling Swede has arrived.
With so many eyes on William Eklund in his return to San Jose, the 19-year-old put on a dazzling display to kick off the 2022 Rookie Faceoff Friday night.
Just 30 seconds into overtime, Eklund put himself in spin cycle, left the Ducks defenseman out to dry, and jammed home the game-winning goal in the San Jose Sharks first game of the weekend.
Eklund with the spinorama to end it OT pic.twitter.com/HTz6pbUDnK
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) September 17, 2022
“I saw his skate was [pointing] towards me, so I was just trying the spin-o-rama move and luckily it went through,” Eklund said with a huge smile after the game. “I like those spin-o-rama moves.”
“It was good, creative off the rush,” Barracuda head coach John McCarthy said. “It was a nice goal.”
With his pirouette play, Eklund showed off his creativity and agility. By stuffing in the goal, Eklund also backed up his claim that he’s gained at least seven pounds of muscle and added a flashy finish to his three-point night.
Eklund has a big smile when asked about his spinorama goal pic.twitter.com/fQf9CQMGVF
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) September 17, 2022
In the third period, Eklund also showed off an improved shot. Eklund snuck into the open slot, received a sharp one-touch pass from Ryan Merkley, and quickly turned to snap in the game-tying goal.
“We worked on [Eklund’s shot] a lot over the summer,” McCarthy said. “So he definitely got the message there and worked on it. I thought his release was quicker and it’s got a little more velocity on the puck too.”
McCarthy also said he was impressed by the San Jose Sharks prospects top line in Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau, and Scott Reedy. McCarthy said pairing Eklund and Bordeleau was a “no-brainer.”
“[Last] year, they had a couple of nice plays together,” McCarthy said. “They see the game at a high level so and they see it kind of similarly, actually.”
Bordeleau, who assisted on both Eklund’s goals, opened the scoring with a wrist shot in the first period — assisted, of course, by Eklund. With games against the Avalanche Saturday evening and the Kings Monday afternoon, Eklund, Bordeleau, and the rest of the Sharks prospects have more opportunity to make a good impression.
“I think this tournament’s more about showcasing these guys and letting them show what they can do,” McCarthy said. “They’re still auditioning for the big club. I think it’s about figuring out … what position can we put them in to show what they can do.”
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.