In this edition of San Jose Sharks News & Rumors, Evander Kane is in hot water once again, as he is now being investigated by the league for allegedly breaking COVID-19 protocols. In other news, William Eklund has been having a great camp, and appears to have a real chance to make the team. Meanwhile, there was some concern in the organization as Adin Hill had to undergo x-rays on his wrist this past week. Though not injury related, prospect Brinson Pasichnuk, who was not feeling well for some time, is finally on the mend after learning he has celiac disease.
Kane’s Troubles Continue
Sharks fans have heard it plenty of times this offseason, but Kane is in trouble once again. The 30-year-old has become a major distraction to his team, and that continued when last week Elliotte Friedman reported that he was being investigated by the league for violating COVID-19 protocols.
At the time, it wasn’t known what he had done, but on Tuesday it was reported that the league is investigating him for allegedly using a fake COVID-19 vaccine card. The exact circumstances surrounding the alleged incident are not known, but this could result in a harsh punishment from the league. With everything he has going on right now, it is tough to envision Kane playing much, if any, hockey this season.
Eklund Impressing Out of the Gate
The Sharks have high hopes for Eklund, and really believe that he can become a great player. That much is obvious, given that they selected him seventh overall in this year’s draft. However, it isn’t likely they expected him to be as good as he has been in training camp.
The 18-year-old has been very impressive to this point, posting four assists in three exhibition games. While some don’t buy much into preseason stats, it is clear he has caught the attention of the coaching staff.
“No one’s made a decision either way yet, but if he keeps progressing like this, he may force our hand into making this team,” said Sharks head coach Bob Boughner.
Personally, I don’t see the reason in rushing a young player like Eklund onto a team that will likely struggle in the 2021-22 season. Nevertheless, it is great to see how impressive he has been during his first NHL training camp. The future appears to be very bright for him.
Hill Good to Go After Injury Scare
Hill gave the Sharks a bit of a scare last week when he was forced to leave practice after taking a shot off the wrist. This made both the team and its fans quite nervous as the 25-year-old is expected to be the teams number one goaltender this season.
Thankfully, X-rays came back clean, meaning he is still expected to start in the team’s season opener on Oct. 16. He was also back on the ice at practice today, which is a great sign. He has a chance to really make a name for himself this season, as he is quite unknown at this point having only played in 49 career NHL games.
Pasichnuk Relieved to Have Better Understanding of Health Issue
There were some scary times for Pasichnuk, who for some time was struggling to keep meals down and lacked much, if any, energy. He was quite concerned given the fact that he had lost 15 pounds, and frustrated as well given that trainers couldn’t seem to figure out what was wrong with him. Thankfully, the issue has since been resolved. (from ‘Curtis Pashelka: San Jose Sharks’ Brinson Pasichnuk has celiac disease’ , — The Mercury News, 09/30/21).
“It was honestly such a relief because I was getting worried, especially with all the tests we were running,” Pasichnuk said. “We couldn’t figure out anything and then I did an endoscopy a couple of weeks ago, and they biopsied the inflammation in my stomach, and it came back as positive for celiac.”
Unfortunately, he was forced to miss the first part of training camp and was then reassigned to the American Hockey League (AHL) before getting any preseason games in. The 23-year-old was signed as an undrafted defenceman out of Arizona State. In 2020-21, his first season as a pro, he was able to get in four games with the Sharks but was held without a point. He also suited up in 32 games with the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL, registering a goal and eight points.
Coming up Next for the Sharks
The Sharks have just one preseason game remaining, which will take place against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday. Then, they will have to wait exactly a week before getting their regular season underway in a home game versus the Winnipeg Jets. They are hoping to get off to a good start and improve from last years down season where they finished seven in the West Division with a record of 21-28-7.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.