With the 38th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the San Jose Sharks have selected center Thomas Bordeleau from the Unites States National Team Development Program. The Sharks acquired pick 38 from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for picks 34 and 100 during the second round of the draft.
Though Bordeleau has been with the US National Team program since the 2018-19 season, Bordeleau considers himself an “international person.” He was born in Houston, Texas while his father Sebastien Bordeleau was playing with the Houston Aeroes in the American Hockey League in 2002. The next season, the family moved to Switzerland where Sebastien played in the Swiss National League until 2012.
It’s worth nothing that Sebastien himself is the son of a former NHL player. Paulin Bordeleau was a French professional hockey player in the 1970s and 1980s. His brothers, J.P. Bordeleau and Christian Bordeleau also played in the NHL. Thomas comes from an extensive NHL pedigree.
More than just vague ideas of hereditary talent, Bordeleau’s upbringing gives him a broader hockey experience than some of his peers. He grew up playing youth hockey in Switzerland. The family moved to Montreal, Quebec, where he played as a young teenager, putting up 64 points in 48 games with Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix in the QMAAA. Though it resulted in the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada drafting Bordeleau in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft, he decided instead to join the USNTDP, thanks largely to Jim Hughes, father to Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils.
The center is committed to the University of Michigan’s Wolverine Hockey program, making this next year a bit of wildcard due to the effects of COVID-19 on college campuses. Michigan has struggled to retain talent over the last few years and are probably hoping Bordeleau wants to stick around.
Bordeleau is a center who can truly control the pace of the game. He has smart vision and is a natural passer. His shot isn’t half-bad, either, making him a dual threat down the middle. He’s great skater, a necessity with him smaller frame.
Areas of Improvement
Starting a trend for the Sharks’ draft, Bordeleau is small, just 5-foot-9 and 179 pounds. He’s a fantastic skater, but it limits his stride, even if he’s mostly quick enough to make up for it. Getting stronger in particular will be at the top of his training checklist.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE watching Thomas Bordeleau drive to the net. Silky smooth skater. Quality edges. The backhand pass didn't connect, but most often it does. pic.twitter.com/pPLfgIyjOc— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) February 28, 2020
Elite Prospects: 23
NHL Central Scouting (NA): 29
Future Considerations: 31
McKeen’s Hockey: 36
TSN Craig Button: 34
TSN Bob McKenzie: 51