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Bordeleau Approaches NHL Debut With a Smile

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Credit: San Jose Barracuda

It’s been a whirlwind for Thomas Bordeleau.

Just 10 days ago, he was in Boston for the Frozen Four. Four days ago, he was making his pro debut with the San Jose Barracuda. And now, he’s making his NHL debut for the San Jose Sharks this evening in Minnesota.

The 20-year-old is just trying to take it all in.

“It only happens once,” Bordeleau said. “It’s a special moment for myself and my family.”

Speaking of family, Thomas Bordeleau’s parents Sebastian and Chantal made it to Minnesota, and the Bordeleau family had dinner yesterday.

As for Bordeleau’s new San Jose Sharks family?

“I’m definitely excited to prove to those guys that I’m here to help, I’m here to do whatever it takes to help them win, just kind of buy in and do whatever they want me to buy into,” the rookie said.

The one question going into tonight was if Bordeleau would play center or wing. There was some thought that the San Jose Sharks would protect the 20-year-old rookie by starting him in a shotgun seat. However, Bob Boughner has decided to throw the baby into the water, debuting the natural centerman between Noah Gregor and Rudolfs Balcers.

There’s no doubt that’s where the Sharks hope Bordeleau ends up.

“With the young guys, sometimes you start them on wing, let him feel more comfortable. But him having the skill set that he has, it’s something that we’re desperately, obviously seeking, that we need. His vision and the way he can distribute pucks, there’s a case to keep him in the middle,” Boughner said. “He’s had a lot of success in the faceoff circle at the college level, same thing at USNTDP, so the next challenge is going up against bona fide NHL centermen.”

It’s going to be a huge challenge – but the 2020 second-round pick has been leapfrogging them his entire career – and with a smile.

“Having fun.” That was Bordeleau’s first response when asked his expectations for tonight.

“Obviously, I’m a competitor, I like to win,” he added. “I just really want to do as much as I can just to get the team a win.”

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