William Eklund's first full NHL season with the Sharks gave a lot to be excited about

Apr 13, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing William Eklund (72), San Jose
Apr 13, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing William Eklund (72), San Jose / David Gonzales-USA TODAY Sports

When the San Jose Sharks' season started, no one expected them to be exceptional, but the Sharks figured out a way to undercut those expectations. They were poor, even by the standards of a rebuilding franchise. It was not an enjoyable season in the Bay Area. However, one of the bright spots of the tragic campaign was the young Swedish winger William Eklund. He was the shiny light for the Sharks roster in a season that saw him grab his first career hat trick. 

There is no denying that Eklund will be looking towards the future with hopes of improving after the 16 goals and 29 assists he collected this season for 45 points in his first entire season in the NHL. Given that this roster was as undermanned as it was at the end of the season, it was a good year for the Swedish winger, and he's got a lot to build on moving forward. 


When he was eventually moved up to the Lund line with Mikael Granlund and Fabian Zetterlund, the roster saw a significant uptick in production after Anthony Duclair's departure when he was traded to Tampa Bay. While everyone wants to see Eklund become the star winger the Sharks haven't had since Patrick Marleau, the team in teal will have to settle for growth and development this year. It was a solid year, but we'll have to wait for a different time for Eklund to break out truly. 

Overall, there was a lot to like from Eklund this year, but there are concerns. Defensively, much work must be done to address the young man's inconsistency. We know this player wants to have the puck on his and drive into the offensive zone. He wants to attack and break games open, which is excellent for the organization that needs players like that, but the Sharks need Eklund to be the best player he can be. It's a good start, but we all need more from the young Swede.