Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Thomas Bordeleau.
Thomas Bordeleau led the US NTDP Under-18 in scoring this season. He put up 16 goals and 30 assists for 46 points in 47 games. This was an improvement on his season with the Under-17 team, where he had 16 goals and 23 assists for 39 points in 53 games in 2018-19. Bordeleau played for the U.S. team at the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored four assists in five tournament games. Bordeleau is committed to playing hockey at the University of Michigan next season. Should he change his mind and go the CHL route, his rights are owned by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, who drafted him in the 5th round of the 2018 QMJHL Draft.
Bordeleau comes from excellent hockey bloodlines. His grandfather, Paulin Bordeleau played 183 NHL games and 234 WHA games in the 1970s before playing pro hockey in France. He followed that up with a long coaching career. His father, Sebastien Bordeleau was a third-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. He played 251 NHL games, had a pro career in Europe, and has also gone on to coaching. He is currently a development coach with the Nashville Predators.
Thomas Bordeleau Scouting Report
Centre — shoots Left
Born January 3rd, 2002 — Houston, Texas
Height 5’10” — Weight 175 lbs [178 cm/79 kg]
While Bordeleau lacks height, he does have a well-developed, muscular frame that allows him to be heavily involved in all areas of the ice. He has very good balance and is tough to knock off the puck, allowing him to win battles on the boards as well as play in the dangerous areas of the ice. He has a short, choppy stride but this does not slow him down at all, as he is one of the quicker players in this draft class. Bordeleau reaches his top-end speed quickly with good acceleration. His edgework and agility are also high-end.
Bordeleau has an outstanding arsenal of shots, with a good wrist shot, snapshot, slap shot, and even backhand. He gets those shots off quickly, with an outstanding release. They also feature both accuracy and power. A pure sniper, he is willing to shoot at any time, from any angle. Bordeleau has the smarts to get himself open when he does not have the puck. He finds the soft spots in the opponent’s defence and makes himself available for a pass. Bordeleau can also create his own shot off the rush. He can get past a defender and cut to the net with his speed. As defenders back off against him, he can use them as a screen and fire the puck on the net.
While he loves to shoot, he can also take on the role of playmaker. He has excellent vision and the skill to move the puck through tight lanes. Bordeleau has excellent hands. He can control the play, slowing it down or speeding it up. He can also make a quick move on a defender to open up a passing lane. Bordeleau reads the movements of his teammates extremely well. He anticipates where they are going and finds them with a tape-to-tape pass. He can control the power play from the half boards, looking to set up teammates for scoring chances. Bordeleau is willing to work along the boards, where he wins a surprising number of battles despite a lack of size.
Bordeleau’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. There are times when he is working hard in all three zones and is committed to playing a strong defensive game. However, he also has some inconsistency and can get caught flat-footed and puck watching in his own end of the ice. There are other times when he can leave the zone a bit early, looking to fly through the neutral zone to create an offensive chance. Even when he is supporting the defence down low, he can be overpowered when defending the cycle game against bigger and stronger forwards.
Projection and Comparison
While Bordeleau has been a centre with the US NTDP, his future may be as a winger due to the lack of height and his defensive issues. However, his offensive game gives him the potential to become a top-six forward in the NHL. He can also spend time at the University of Michigan bulking up and getting stronger. Bordeleau has a good chance to play for the US team at the World Juniors next year as well. His game is reminiscent of Martin St. Louis. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Thomas Bordeleau that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Thomas Bordeleau Main Photo:
PLYMOUTH, MI – DECEMBER 11: Thomas Bordeleau #47 of the U.S. Nationals controls the puck in front of Oleksiy Myklukha #13 of the U17 Slovakia Nationals during game two of day one of the 2018 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on December 11, 2018, in Plymouth, Michigan. Team USA defeated Slovakia 7-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)