The 2021 Rookie Faceoff tournament has come and gone, and the Sharks' most impressive player was not 2021 first-round pick William Eklund, but rather, his roommate.
Jasper Weatherby, 23, signed a two-year contract with the Sharks last month after a strong development camp, and his performance at the Rookie Faceoff has placed him in contention to make the big club out of training camp. At 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds, and proficient in the faceoff circle, Weatherby will be in the mix to be the Sharks' fourth-line center.
Selected by San Jose in the fourth round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Weatherby arguably was the most NHL-ready player on the Sharks' rookie tournament roster, and his play did nothing to dispel that notion. Weatherby scored a goal in both games he played and caught the eye of coach Roy Sommer.
"Weatherby showed his heaviness in front of the net," Sommer told The Athletic's Kevin Kurz. "Both his goals were in tight. He had the tip, and then the one that he put under the bar. Good on draws."
Weatherby played a crucial role off the ice as well, as it likely was no coincidence that he and Eklund were paired as roommates. Apparently, it was a good match.
"[Weatherby has] been good to me," Eklund said. "We’re having good dialogue every day. Both big fans of ‘The Last Dance,’ so talked a bit about that. We’ve had a lot of fun together."
In addition to Weatherby, players like Dylan Gambrell, Joel Kellman, Sasha Chmelevski and Lane Pederson will factor into the competition to be the team's fourth-line center. It'll all heat up Thursday when the Sharks have their first on-ice session of training camp.