William Eklund has been a star so far this preseason, as the Sharks' 2021 first-round draft pick paces San Jose with four points through the first three games. Coach Bob Boughner likes the moxy the 18-year-old forward has brought to the ice so far in his NHL career.
“He didn’t really get anything five on five, but I thought Eklund was awesome,” Boughner said (h/t Curtis Pashelka). “He controlled the play tonight every time he was on the ice and played with a lot of confidence.”
Eklund was the No. 7 overall pick by the Sharks in July, as Doug Wilson and the front office were "over the moon" to have the chance to select him.
International draft picks rarely play right away in the NHL, but Boughner recently said Eklund's play might not give the Sharks a choice.
"No one's made a decision either way yet," Boughner said, "but if he keeps progressing like this, he may force our hand into making this team."
The Sharks cut the roster down to 30 players on Saturday, and Eklund remains among the NHL squad.
If he keeps this elite play, we could see Eklund make his NHL debut sometime during the 2021-22 season.