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Slow the Bordeleau Hype, What Might Barabanov’s Contract Ask Be?

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Sheng Peng: With Tomas Hertl re-signed, it looks like Alexander Barabanov is the San Jose Sharks’ big unrestricted free agent this off-season.

But that might not last long: I’m told that the Sharks and Barabanov’s camp will be meeting soon, maybe as soon as this week.

The 27-year-old has been a revelation since the Sharks acquired him last Trade Deadline, he has 46 points in 76 games as a Shark.

But what complicates his contract negotiations is that he’s played under 100 NHL games. Most of his pro experience has been in the KHL. So he’s still seen as having something to prove in the NHL.

I’m hearing his contract ask might come in at two years, $2 to $3 million annual average or maybe three years, about $3.5 million AAV. Maybe lower.

We’ll have a better idea after the Sharks and Barabanov’s camp talk.

Speaking of another forward that should figure big time in the San Jose Sharks’ future, let’s talk about Thomas Bordeleau.

Bordeleau has been a highlight machine since his NHL debut last week

But let’s slow the hype train for the 20-year-old. Let’s not expect too much from him too soon.

The truth is, there are a lot of details to winning hockey. Small plays, not the highlight ones.

I talked to different NHL scouts, one who watched the Columbus game where Bordeleau hit Balcers with that incredible pass, another who watched the Vegas shootout win. Both called Bordeleau performances in those games, besides the highlights, “average.”

That’s not an attack on Bordeleau: He’s been amazing. He’s a 20-year-old right out of college who’s hanging, in an elevated role, against the best hockey players in the world. The San Jose Sharks couldn’t ask for anything more from their 2020 second-round pick’s NHL debut.

But let’s also not put the cart before the horse. He still has a lot to learn before he’s a reliable part on a winning team. And that’s OK.

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