William Eklund

Eklund is one Sharks building block, but are there more?

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Editor's Note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California’s Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng

Maybe the future is bright for the San Jose Sharks?

In a season from hell, William Eklund has shone all year, a beacon of hope from Day 1 of training camp to now.

Among the Sharks’ youngest NHL-ready prospects, he’s the only one who’s been here since the beginning of the season. Through thick and thin, Eklund consistently has created offense for a mostly punchless attack in his first full NHL season.

And he was at it again, dropping a hat trick on the St. Louis Blues for a 3-2 OT victory, also Los Gatos native Devin Cooley’s first NHL win.

That hat trick got the 21-year-old to the 40-point mark, just the second Shark to get there so far this season, after team leader (in more ways than one) Mikael Granlund.

“Eklund with the hat trick, wow, that guy is special,” Cooley gushed.

It’s not just about the points either. All season, Eklund has shown both a defensive conscience and mental toughness in a truly challenging campaign for any player, young or old.

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