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Bordeleau Talks Spectacular Goal, Believes He Can Be Complete Player

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Thomas Bordeleau trained and hung out with fellow Montrealer Anthony Duclair this past summer.

The San Jose Sharks traded for three-time 20-goal scorer Duclair in July and are counting on him to add offense. They’re hoping the same from Bordeleau, their 2020 second-round pick.

Hopefully, a solid off-season of work will put the youngster over the top as an NHL’er. In parts of the last two seasons, Bordeleau has appeared in 16 games and notched seven assists.

“I just got more explosive, just trying to get stronger, trying to get faster,” the 5-foot-10 forward said. “That fast twitch.”

It took a fast twitch to score the goals that he potted last night, a 5-1 Rookie Faceoff victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Especially impressive was scoring a goal while sitting down on the ice.

Bordeleau Dazzles in 5-1 Sharks Win, What’s Next Step for Him?

“I was just kind of taking a beating in front of the net. End of my shift, I was pretty gassed and then I fell. I just saw [Jake Furlong] just shoot the puck, and I just tried to get a stick on it,” Bordeleau recalled of his highlight-reel goal. “I guess it was a little lucky. Obviously try to work on my hand-eye.”

More goals like that, it will be tough to keep Bordeleau out of the San Jose Sharks’ line-up. And if he can address questions about his eagerness to play inside and defend hard, he projects to have a long NHL career.

Head coach John McCarthy spoke to that after the 5-1 win, noting, “I thought tonight was a step in the right direction. I thought he was competitive, got involved physically, meaning getting inside, winning loose pucks. I saw more of that from him.”

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“All of us, we haven’t played in four months, something. So first game was obviously a bit more choppy, more running round,” Bordeleau said of the Sharks’ first game of the Rookie Faceoff, a 4-3 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings. “Second game, less thinking, more just doing.”

Bordeleau believes he can be the complete player that San Jose wants him to be: “I can be strong, I can be reliable, I can obviously bring a lot of offense.”

But will that happen at center or wing? Bordeleau, a natural center, played a lot of wing at the end of last year, in part because of his defensive deficiencies. But at the Rookie Faceoff, he’s been used exclusively up the middle.

“It was good. I like taking faceoffs, honestly,” he laughed. “It’s just maybe a little bit less thinking for me when I’m at center. I can kind of just roam around a bit more, to do more of what I can do. Less thinking about my positioning and stuff like that.”

The San Jose Sharks, however, could be full up at center this season, with Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, Mikael Granlund, and Nico Sturm.

And Bordeleau just wants to make the NHL, center or wing, it doesn’t matter.

“But at the same time, it’s good to have that experience last year at wing,” he said. “It was really my first couple of games in a row at wing. I played wing here and there in my life, but never consistently so.”

He says no plan yet has been relayed to him from Sharks management, whether he’ll play center or wing. We’ll see next week when training camp starts.

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