Eklund’s hockey sense is probably his single best asset. He never seems to be lost in the play or overwhelmed by it, so he’s rarely a liability. He is very good without the puck, knowing how to pressure opponents into making turnovers and correctly anticipating where the puck is going. Eklund has plenty of acceleration,…
|Dec 29/21||Eklund William||23076 – Sweden vs. Slovakia||WJC-20||by Joseph Aleong||View Report|
|Feb 20/21||Eklund William||21731 – Malmo vs. Djurgarden||SHL||by James Henry||View Report|
|Dec 10/20||Eklund William||21438 – Djurgarden vs. Frolunda||SHL||by Fredrik Haak||View Report|
|Dec 5/20||Eklund William||21422 – Djurgarden vs. Linkoping||SHL||by Derek Neumeier||View Report|
|Nov 26/20||Eklund William||21379 – Djurgarden vs. Vaxjo||SHL||by Josh Bell||View Report|
Eklund’s hockey sense is probably his single best asset. He never seems to be lost in the play or overwhelmed by it, so he’s rarely a liability. He is very good without the puck, knowing how to pressure opponents into making turnovers and correctly anticipating where the puck is going. Eklund has plenty of acceleration, top speed and agility to work with, allowing him to beat opponents in direct footraces or take more creative routes. Using his strong edges and some subtle misdirection, he has the ability to create scoring chances with his skating alone. All over the ice, Eklund’s head is on a swivel. He’s constantly checking for where his man is and where everyone else is. Then, when he gets possession, he already knows where he’s headed. This especially helps in the offensive zone, as he can find his teammates through thick traffic, setting up an excellent chance in this game, passing through four players. It allows him to pull off some deceptive drop and behind the back passes, making him a very intriguing playmaker. His puck control is quite advanced and he can carry it and make plays at full speed. He’s very slippery in the cycle, twisting his body to protect the puck and using his head, hands and feet to be deceptive. He reads and reacts to the play quickly enough to make dangerous passes and can make plays off his backhand. He does well to get himself into dangerous shooting areas without the puck, using both his quickness and his smarts. He attacks with speed, drives the puck to the net, and can change his shooting angle on shot attempts. His release is quick and surprisingly powerful, plus he doesn’t need a lot of room to get the puck on net. He also shows good offensive habits by remaining around the net for second opportunities, and works to find open space. Without the puck, he is relentless on the forecheck, has a great work ethic, and solid defensive positioning. Eklund competes hard and doesn’t quit on plays, including making desperation moves, such as diving poke checks, if it’s his last resort. He’s fearless in his play. In puck battles, Eklund is competitive and has a strong stick. Breaking the puck out of the defensive zone, he is aware of his options and is responsible with the puck. One area of improvement for Eklund would be his pass receiving skills. At times wide passes can bounce or bobble off of his stick, especially firm passes to his backhand. Spending his entire draft year in the SHL should prepare him well for the next level.