Connect with us

San Jose Sharks

BREAKING: Eklund Skipping World Juniors

Published

on

Credit: San Jose Sharks

William Eklund will not play for Sweden in the World Junior Championships in August.

This is a surprising twist, after Eklund was named to Sweden’s roster in early June. The top San Jose Sharks prospect followed that up at the end of the month by confirming his participation on the Locked On Sharks podcast.

Eklund Confirms He’s Playing at World Juniors, Talks About “Tough” SHL Season

The Sharks’ 2021 first-round pick, however, has changed his tune.

“I made the decision after a meeting with the Sharks. I feel that I need time to prepare in the best way possible before training camp in September. My goal is to take a spot in the NHL,” Eklund told Aftonbladet. “The World Juniors are not at an ideal time and this decision is the best for my development. It’s a very tough and difficult decision to make. It sucks.”

Eklund’s agent Todd Diamond added that this decision was ultimately the player’s, texting San Jose Hockey Now: “After dev camp, William understood that with the month needed for WJC, he wouldn’t be prepared to compete for [an] NHL roster spot.”

2022 Minnesota Wild first-round pick Liam Öhgren will take Eklund’s spot. Sharks’ 2022 second-round pick Mattias Havelid will also represent Sweden.

The 2022 World Junior Championships are set to begin on Aug. 9 in Edmonton. It’s a reboot of the January tournament, which Eklund participated in, that was canceled after four days because of COVID-19 concerns.

We saw Eklund just last week at San Jose Sharks development camp. The 5-foot-10 winger was looking thicker, saying that he had added seven pounds of muscle.

Sharks Development Camp: Eklund Meets Marleau

At the time, he didn’t betray any second thoughts about playing for Team Sweden next month.

Eklund returned to Sweden after development camp and is training there. He isn’t the only San Jose Sharks’ possibility for World Juniors though.

Thomas Bordeleau, 2020 second-round pick, and Cam Lund, 2022 second-round pick, are hoping to represent Team USA. Both were invited to USA Hockey’s National Junior Evaluation Camp, beginning on Jul. 24 in Plymouth, MI. Team USA will name its team on Aug. 3 and Bordeleau is expected to be selected.

Ben Gaudreau, 2021 third-round pick, Mason Beaupit, 2022 fourth-round pick, and Gannon Laroque, 2021 fourth-round pick, were invited to Team Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Camp, set to commence on Jul. 23, which will help decide the team. Laroque, however, cannot attend because of injury.

Special thanks to Rasmus Kågström of Hockeysverige for his translation help.

Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network plus an ad-free browsing experience.
6 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
6 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alaskan_ice

Hmm, I guess they feel his development is going well and will be best served as a Shark.
Far be it for me to contest that.

Go Sharks!!

Falco5

Or they feel he hasn’t put on enough muscle and he’s skipping so he can spend the time bulking up…

david barnard

Sharks aren’t the only team pressuring their prospects against going.

Ty Comes

They definitely pressured him into not going, no doubt. I wonder what was said in that convo

James

I take it they’re really depending on him making the Opening Night Top 9.

david barnard

what a slap in the face if he doesn’t make the roster. he’s already shown a willingness to publicly “express” his discontent/frustrations about Sharks roster decisions where he’s concerned. if he foregoes the tournament and then doesn’t get a roster spot, there could be some really bad blood brewing between him and how he sees the Sharks management.

Sheng’s Travel Fund

Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.


Click here to contribute to Sheng's travel pool!

Get SJHN in your inbox!

Enter your email address to get all of our articles delivered directly to your inbox.

Hockey Shots

Extra Hour Hockey Training

Cathy’s Power Skating

Sharks Team & Cap Info

SJHN on Facebook

All the San Jose Sharks news that's fit to print

Enter your email to get the best Sharks coverage delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.