William Eklund signed his entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks on Sunday. Eklund was the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft.
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Sharks sign William Eklund
William Eklund’s contract has a cap hit of $925,000 over the next three seasons. He has $850,000 in bonus money each season, leading to his average annual value to be $1.775 million per season.
Eklund is a 5’10 centre or left-winger from Haninge, Sweden, just outside of Stockholm. Last season, he played with Djurgardens IF in Sweden’s top men’s league, the SHL, scoring 11 goals and 12 assists for 23 points in 40 games. Last Word on Sport’s Ben Kerr ranked Eklund fourth in the draft. Kerr wrote, ” given his skating, playmaking ability, and defensive game, he likely will be a centre at the NHL level. With a year of professional hockey, against men, under his belt, Eklund is one of the more NHL-ready prospects in this year’s draft. However, it is not a sure thing, and he would have to perform in training camp. ”
William Eklund is the third member of the top ten selections to sign his entry-level contract. Third overall pick Mason McTavish of the Anaheim Ducks and ninth overall pick Brandt Clark of the Los Angeles Kings also signed theirs.
What to Expect
San Jose Sharks fans can watch Eklund play as soon as next year. He’s eligible to play with either the Sharks or the Barracuda of the AHL if the Sharks want to bring him to North America. They can also send him back to Sweden, so Eklund has many spots to play next season.
If Eklund were to make the Sharks, there is an opening as a top-six left-winger. While San Jose hasn’t been a good team in recent years, they still have a good collection of veteran top-six players like Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc to help Eklund get settled. Long term, there could be a fit at centre. Hertl has one year left on his deal, and if he doesn’t re-sign, that will open the door for Eklund.
Main Photo: SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY – JULY 23: With the seventh pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the San Jose Sharks select William Eklund during the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft at the NHL Network studios on July 23, 2021 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)