<22 Predictions For The 2021 22 NHL Season>
Back to normal. Well, closer at least.
The Sharks are slated to play a full 82-game season for the first time in three years. And yes, there will be fans in the stands. NHL hockey, as we've come to know it, is back.
The 2021-22 season has already begun, but the Sharks won't start their campaign until Saturday night at SAP Center against the visiting Winnipeg Jets. After missing out on the playoffs the last two seasons, the pressure is on San Jose to avoid the first three-year postseason drought in franchise history.
Here are five bold predictions for the Sharks' season that lies ahead:
William Eklund is Rookie of the Year finalist
The youth movement is in full effect in San Jose. The Sharks will have five rookies in their opening night lineup for the first time in franchise history, but of those five, the spotlight surely will be on Eklund, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Eklund was so impressive in training camp and preseason that the Sharks had no choice but to include him on the opening night roster, and while it's no guarantee that he'll stick around, nothing he has done to this point suggests the task ahead is too large for him to handle.
He has been compared to Patrick Kane and Patrick Marleau. He already is a fixture on one of the power-play units. Simply put, Eklund looks like he has the potential to be one of the best players in Sharks history. There's a long way to go before that, but he'll get off to a great start this season, finishing among the top five scorers on the team. His highlight-reel playing style will ensure he gets the attention he deserves, and that'll result in a top-three finish in Calder Memorial Trophy voting.
Source : https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/sharks/five-bold-sharks-predictions-heading-2021-22-nhl-season341