SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has reassigned center William Eklund (@Williameklund72) to Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).
"This was one of the toughest decisions we have had to make," said Wilson. "William's tremendous skill and vision have been evident since his participation in our rookie tournament in September. In his nine NHL games as a teenager, he has shown that he is going to be a special player in this league but ultimately, we feel it is in the best interest of his long-term development to return to Sweden and continue to work on becoming the dominant player we know he can be."
Eklund appeared in nine games with San Jose, collecting four assists and two penalty minutes. During the 2021 Preseason, the 19-year-old forward posted a team-leading five points (five assists) in four games, which was T-16th amongst all NHL players and T-4th amongst all NHL rookies.
Last season, he registered 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 40 games with Djurgardens, setting career highs in his second season in goals, assists, points, and games played. He led the SHL juniors in goals, finished second in points, and was tied for second in assists and his three game-winning goals was tied for first on his Swedish club. Eklund was named the SHL Rookie of the Year and the Swedish Junior Hockey Player of the Year. In the SHL, he has registered 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 60 games.
Prior to his SHL career, he has appeared with Djurgardens junior teams, recording 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) in 44 games in the SuperElit (J-20), and in the Allsvenskan juniors, he posted 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 31 career games. During the 2018-19 season, he helped Djugardens to a Bronze Medal in the SuperElit league, and held the best faceoff percentage (64%) in the J-18 Elit. In 2017-18, he helped his J-18 team to a Gold Medal.
The five-foot-eleven, 181-pound native of Haninge, Sweden was selected by San Jose in the 2021 NHL Draft (first round, seventh overall).