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Bordeleau Gets Another NHL Shot At Wing: ‘My game has taken a step’



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

Thomas Bordeleau will play wing in the NHL this time around.

The top San Jose Sharks prospect, recalled yesterday, started the season at his natural center position for the big club, notching a goal, his first in the NHL, and an assist in six games.

It wasn’t a smooth transition, however, and Bordeleau was sent down to the AHL in November.

“I know he loves to play in the middle, have the puck,” head coach David Quinn said. “But I think he found out in the first 10 games, this is not an easy league to play the center position at, right?”

Bordeleau has played wing since then. At least with the San Jose Barracuda, it’s worked out – the 22-year-old has scored 11 goals and 25 points in 35 games this season.

“He’s been playing well down there,” Quinn said. “Just gives us a little more skill.”

Bordeleau and Quinn agree that he’s taken well to wing.

“It’s just less thinking. It’s more natural,” Bordeleau said. “It’s stuff that you don’t get exposed to a lot when you’re a center, because you can go everywhere and you’re helping everybody out. Just been some little adjustments, mental stuff. Working here and there on a couple positioning [things].”

“A lot of times, just play hockey, right?” Quinn said. “You got to make your reads and when we have the puck, it’s almost positionless in a lot of ways. It’s less responsibility defensively as a winger, I think that has helped him.”

We’ll see if that helps Bordeleau in the NHL.

Even in his brief NHL career, the San Jose Sharks’ 2020 second-round pick has bounced around, playing eight games at center in 2021-22, eight games at wing in 2022-23, and center to start this season.

“A lot of guys that have played the middle their whole lives, they go to the wing, as their career progresses, they’re able to get moved to the middle,” Quinn said.

Center or wing, regardless, the challenge for Bordeleau is to make a greater impact at this level than he has before, if he wants to stay up with the San Jose Sharks.

The 5-foot-10 forward, who says he’s faster and stronger, thinks he’s up for the challenge.

“My game has taken a step again,” Bordeleau said. “I’m gonna get a chance to show them what I can do in the big leagues.”

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