“Just seeing that game, it was just wow, I really want to be a part of this one day.”
That’s what Thomas Bordeleau recalled about attending the 2017 World Junior Championship gold medal game. The San Jose Sharks 2020 second-round pick said this on Friday night, on the eve of his probable inclusion on Team USA’s WJC roster.
Unfortunately, Bordeleau will have to wait another year.
This morning, Matt Porter of The Boston Globe reported that John Beecher had tested positive for COVID-19. Bordeleau was Beecher’s selection camp roommate. Per IIHF protocols, neither can enter the WJC bubble in Edmonton.
At least the 18-year-old Bordeleau should get another shot; this is the 20-year-old Beecher’s final year of WJC eligibility.
On Friday, San Jose Hockey Now spoke with Bordeleau about his decision to represent the United States. The University of Michigan standout — arguably the San Jose Sharks system’s top prospect — was born in Houston, grew up in Switzerland and Canada, and has a French passport (because of his father and former NHL’er Sebastian Bordeleau, who played for Team France).
We also discussed the impact that Quinn and Jack Hughes’s family has had on the San Jose Sharks prospect.
Sheng Peng: What went into your decision to skate for the United States?
Thomas Bordeleau: I had a lot of choices, being Canadian, having a French passport too. But after my two years at the NTDP, for me, it was just the question of loyalty. They just spent so much time on me. I owe them a lot. They’ve been there for my development so much. My time at the NTDP was life-changing for me.
Made some best friends, brothers for life. For me, it was a no-brainer. I wanted to be part of that group of guys.
SP: From what I understand, your mother went to university for about 10 years, and that weighed heavily on your decision to choose the NCAA route.
TB: Definitely, my mom had a big say in it, for sure. She’s a doctor. She went to school for a while.
It was really important for me to have a life ready for when the real life starts. That’s after your hockey career.
SP: I also understand that Jim Hughes, Quinn and Jack’s father, also was a big part of your decision to join the USNTDP.
TB: The whole Hughes family had a big impact. Quinn, going through the program, then Michigan. Jack going through the program too.
Going to the NTDP with Jack there, he big brothered me a little bit.
SP: Honestly, who were you cheering for during the 2017 USA-Canada gold medal game?
TB: (laughs) Mixed emotions, honestly. For sure, the building was going crazy every time Canada scored. That was nice. But as an American, I had a lot of players I liked on the American team. And at the same time, I had a lot of guys that I was working out with on the Canadian team.
It was really a mixed emotions kind of game. But it was such a great game.
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