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Quinn on Bordeleau: ‘I get the feeling that he’s kind of getting it.’



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

NASHVILLE – “Just play your balls out. Leave nothing behind.”

That was a recent message that Thomas Bordeleau got from father Sebastien Bordeleau, also a Nashville Predators development coach.

Since Bordeleau has come up since Mar. 7, besides three goals in six games, he has shown more determination for the puck.

That’s helped keep the 22-year-old prospect in the San Jose Sharks line-up, including tonight against his dad’s Predators. This is a different Bordeleau than we saw earlier this season.

Bordeleau broke camp with the Sharks, accruing more healthy scratches (2) than goals (1), playing six games. In his defense, with Logan Couture and Mikael Granlund injured, Bordeleau was thrust into a middle-six center role for a struggling squad.

What’s clicked for Bordeleau, now playing wing, this time around in the NHL?

“I just saw similar intentions,” head coach David Quinn said recently about Bordeleau. “It’s not always going to be perfect. You’re not always going to play a great game. But you can tell when a guy has learned something.”

Specifically, Quinn felt like Bordeleau hasn’t been chasing offense as much this time around in the NHL. Part and parcel with that, there’s been more determination on the puck, better puck management, more defensive awareness, and increased pace. Bordeleau himself agreed, saying he has more “NHL awareness” now.

“I get the feeling he wasn’t doing it because the coach was telling him to do it,” Quinn said. “Because inevitably, when you’re just doing something that someone’s telling you to do, you revert back to what you instinctively want to do or want to do, period.”

Bordeleau’s game wasn’t there yet at the beginning of the season, when San Jose first visited Nashville on Oct. 21. Bordeleau found out that morning, after suiting up for the first four games of the season, that he was healthy scratched against the Preds.

It was another close encounter with his dad’s team. Last season, the San Jose Sharks brought him to Europe for their game-opening set against the Predators in Prague but didn’t play him.

“It was really disappointing,” Bordeleau told San Jose Hockey now today about being scratched in October in Nashville. “I was definitely excited for it. But everything happens for a reason, and I’ll get another chance to get a crack at it. It’s gonna be even more fun tonight because of that bittersweet moment.”

Sebastien is here, along with star defenseman Roman Josi. Sebastien and Josi were teammates with SC Bern from 2006 to 2009. Thomas Bordeleau has fond memories of playing mini sticks with a teenage Josi back then.

Bordeleau Ready to Dominate AHL

And now, finally, he’s sharing the ice with Josi. He might be here for good with the San Jose Sharks, at this rate.

It was worth noting that Quinn said he was “proud” of Bordeleau after his two-goal performance against the Ottawa Senators on Mar. 9, and not because of the goals scored.

“I liked all the other things he did,” Quinn said. “Bordy, he played an honest game tonight. I really liked his game. Mental effort and physical effort. Listen, you going to make mistakes, but you can just see him, I thought, in all three zones, playing with the right intentions.”

Sharks Locker Room: Quinn ‘Proud’ of Bordeleau, Chrona Shares Kahkonen’s Message

Quinn spoke more about Bordeleau’s long, sometimes winding development path recently: “It’s very difficult for guys that have played a certain way for their whole career. They’ve been rewarded, rewarded, rewarded, drafted in the second round…this is why you drafted me. This is how I’m going to play. No, no, no, you’ve got to revamp your style if you’re gonna have success, so that’s a really difficult approach to adapt.”

But four years after the San Jose Sharks selected him in the second round of the 2020 Draft, Bordeleau may have arrived.

“I get the feeling that he’s kind of getting it. He’s doing it because he knows it’s the right thing to do,” Quinn said. “That’s a big, big difference to me.”

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