Thomas Bordeleau took the San Jose Sharks by storm with his late-season debut.
Immediately thrust into the Sharks’ line-up as their third-line pivot, the 20-year-old rookie centered arguably San Jose’s most dangerous trio to close the year. Bordeleau with Noah Gregor and Rudolfs Balcers averaged 3.66 Goals Per 60 at 5-on-5 in the last eight games of the season, almost doubling the rest of the team’s 1.98 Goals Per 60 without the line on the ice.
Underlying stats, per Natural Stat Trick, suggest the same thing: Balcers-Bordeleau-Gregor averaged 60.79 Shot Attempts Per 60 at 5-on-5 (Sharks attempted 47.63 without them) and 2.64 Expected Goals Per 60 (2.25 without).
Bordeleau registered five assists and Gregor notched four goals in this stretch. The University of Michigan standout also put an exclamation mark on his NHL cup of coffee with a spectacular shootout winner against the Golden Knights, San Jose’s first victory over Vegas since Nov. 2019.
All that said, it shouldn’t be taken for granted that a rookie with just eight NHL contests under his belt will be ready for a full season as a third-line center on a playoff hopeful next year.
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