A highly skilled offensive player who has shown the ability to produce at a high-level in the SHL during his draft year. Older for the 2021 draft class but as talented as they come.
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March 2023 – While he did not make the Sharks out of camp, Eklund’s first full season in North America has been a promising developmental step for him. He had a seamless transition to the AHL ranks with the Barracuda; currently second on the team in points with 41 in 52 games and 7th in AHL rookie scoring. He has earned a call up to the Sharks for the final quarter of the season and while he has not found a ton of offensive success at the NHL level yet, he remains the Sharks top prospect. He will be looking to finish the year strong to build momentum for what should be his first full NHL season this fall. Donesh Mazloum
November 2021 – The early returns on Eklund have been extremely promising as the Sharks 2021 first-round pick was one of three 2021 selections to make his team’s opening night roster. He did not look out of place at the NHL level, earning points in his first three games and consistently lining up next to Hertl or Couture on one of the Sharks’ top two lines. His prowess on the powerplay was especially apparent and his ability to seamlessly work from the half-wall bodes well for his long-term fantasy prospects. After nine games the Sharks returned Eklund back to Djurgardens of the SHL to allow him further development and to preserve his contract status for another year. With what he showed during his cup of coffee at the highest level, expect him to be in the conversation for the Calder trophy next season. Eklund will look to build on his rookie of the year season in the SHL and should be one of the premier talents at the World Juniors. Donesh Mazloum
July 2021 – Eklund was selected in the first round, 7th overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 2021 NHL Draft. Nick Richard
December 2020 – Originally expected to be a big part of the Swedish World Juniors team, Eklund tested positive and was sent home. He almost immediately tested negative and was back on Djurgården’s top line a couple of days later. Eklund is a late-2002 birthday so he is a bit older than the majority of the draft class but his performance so far this year leaves nothing to be desired. His 14 points in 19 games in the SHL so far rank up there with the likes of the Sedin twins and Peter Forsberg for production at this age. While he may not possess the upside that those players have in terms of being borderline generational players and certainly franchise players, Eklund should be a difference-maker at the NHL level. His play has elevated the play of 2020 seventh overall pick at times this year, proving that he is doing far more than riding passenger with a veteran and a top prospect. Eklund has the shooting ability to be a legitimate goal-scoring threat as well as the creativity and playmaking talent to be the facilitator. He plays with speed and pace, often overwhelming less talented defenders with his persistence and desire to play in the middle of the ice and around the net. He finds himself space with good body positioning and the ability to bounce off defenders. He battles hard down low and doesn’t give up on plays often, making him a hassle on nearly every shift. With his World Juniors taken by COVID-19, he won’t get the chance to shine amongst the top junior talent in the world but his play in his home nation in arguably a top-three league in the world should be more than enough to entice NHL teams to call his name early in the 2021 NHL Draft in July. Tony Ferrari