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Rookie Day Camp 1 – William Eklund

There are a lot of Sharks prospects converging on Sharks Ice in San Jose over the next few days as they get ready for the rookie faceoff tournament in Las Vegas. The tournament starts tomorrow and you can find a full schedule here.

In a previous post, we heard from Shakir Mukhamadullin, who talked about his summer training and losing a good friend.

William Eklund also spoke to the media on day one. He talked about his shoulder surgery and the expectations that he’ll make the team out of training camp.

“Yeah, I feel good. The rehab went well, I had a good talk with the trainers and the management about it. So it’s, it’s been good,” said Eklund.

He says that mentally, the recovery was tough.

“It’s just those small steps you take, is big steps, of course. But no, you feel like it takes a while to do it and you just want to get out on the ice and play the game you love,” said Eklund. “So, it’s hard to stay [still] the same time it was needed for me because I know it’s going to benefit my career in the future. So yeah, I’m just trying to stay positive.”

Ultimately, Eklund knows that he made the right decision.

“I needed to do it. And that kept me motivated and coming back this season to be even stronger,” said Eklund.

Eklund has added more muscle and says he’s about 187 pounds. He’s not worried about getting bigger as much as he’s worried about getting faster.

“I have to be a fast player. I’m not going to be the biggest guy out there. But also I need to be able to take hits and also be fast to be able to get out of the corners quick,” said Eklund. “The muscles I have now, I want them to be quick muscles out there. I wanted to be feeling really good. I want my shot to get even better. I think did a good better job last year shooting the puck. So that’s the thing, I’m gonna go in here now and try to shoot as much as I can.”

As for making the team out of training camp, Eklund says he “wasn’t happy” every time he got sent back down and he’s ready to prove he should be in the NHL. While most have him penciled into the Sharks’ lineup already, Eklund isn’t taking it for granted.

“I want to be there. I think it’s a spot I gotta take and it’s a spot that I’m gonna make myself deserve,” said Eklund.

He’s confident in his skills and abilities, so he’s not worried about fighting for a roster spot after the addition of guys like Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund, Anthony Duclair and Filip Zadina.

“It’s always gonna be competition; it’s the best league in the world,” said Eklund. “You can’t come in here and think it’s gonna be easy to come in. It’s gonna be tough, of course, but for me, it’s more like competing with them every day. And I want to be there. That’s my goal.”

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