The move comes after Eklund skated in eight games this month on his first call-up of the year, recording two goals and an assist. Sending Eklund back to the minors before he plays his 10th game this year will once again defer the start of his entry-level contract to next season, the last time San Jose is eligible to make such a maneuver with him.
Drafted seventh overall in 2021, Eklund’s yet to see extended time in the NHL, but a move to North America this season has proved fruitful after spending 2021-22 in Sweden. In his first season in the AHL with the Barracuda, he’s cemented himself as one of the team’s best players with 17 goals and 41 points in 52 games.
San Jose certainly got the most out of Eklund during his call-up, routinely deploying him over 20 minutes per game. With that sort of production in the minors at age 20, Eklund could very well cement his place on the Sharks full-time next year.
The only player with more points on the Barracuda than Eklund is Agozzino, who gets his first recall to the NHL after signing with the Sharks last offseason. The 32-year-old minor-league veteran has 52 points in 55 games with the Barracuda this year and is nearing 50 games of NHL experience.