July 5, 2021

Eklund named recipient of E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence

William Eklund, a top prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft, received the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, the NHL announced Monday.

The award is presented by NHL Central Scouting and is in honor of McGuire, who served as director of Central Scouting from 2005 until he died of cancer April 7, 2011. It’s given to the NHL Draft eligible who best exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism.

“This is such a huge honor and I’m in shock right now,” Eklund told NHL.com on Sunday. “I’m so happy for this award.”

Eklund is No. 5 in FCHockey’s Final ranking for the 2021 draft. He had 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in 40 games with Djurgardens IF, and was named SHL Rookie of the Year. He missed the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in December after contracting COVID-19, and underwent emergency appendectomy surgery in January.

“Eklund has had a season with a lot of setbacks,” Swedish-based FCHockey scout Viktor Bergman said. “Despite this, he always came back stronger and still had a successful season in the SHL, winning the award as rookie of the year. At the same time, he has shown great determination and qualities that has impressed many. He is a well-deserved winner in my opinion.”

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