Thomas Bordeaux, San Jose’s potential shark, shines in AHL premiere

SAN JOSE – Thomas Bordeaux slipped towards the neutral zone when his teammate Jayden Helbegwatch took over the grout. Bordeaux then received a delivery from the Levgwatch and took a few steps before firing a ball that handcuffed Bakersfield goalkeeper Stuart Skinner.

Lane Pederson pounced on the juicy rebound and slammed it into the Condors’ net for a Barcauda 60-second lead into the first period.

That’s how Bordeaux marked his arrival in San Jose on Wednesday, assisting with a goal in his first shift in his debut with the Sharks’ AHL.

“Definitely strengthens some confidence,” Bordeaux said of the initial point.

Bordeaux, who was signed for an amateur trial on Tuesday, will add two more assists in the second period from goals from Jasper Weatherby and Patrick Holloway, as the Barracuda closed out its last game at the Sap Center with a 6-3 loss to Condors.

“I thought he was pretty good,” Barracuda coach Roy Sommer said of Bordeaux, one of the sharks’ second-round pick in 2020. “I think he thinks the American League is going to be easy – three assists in his first game. A little hard to do. But for the most part I did not like our game. I thought we had one line.”

These are horribly difficult times on the ice for the shark organization.

SAN JOSEA, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 13: Thomas Bordeaux (23) of San Jose Barracuda slips on ice after a 6-3 loss to Bakersfield Condors at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (Nhat V. Meyer / Bay Area News Group)

The parent club – in a series of seven losing games – is on the verge of a mathematical relegation from the playoffs for the third year in a row for the first time in the team’s history. The Barracuda (20-39-3-2), which was canceled by summonses after the March 21 trading date, is now 0-10-1 since March 19 and is in last place in the AHL Pacific Division.

Between the loser and the seemingly never-ending revolving door of the players (the barracuda now used 50 players per season), Sommer said it was easily his most challenging year as head coach of the AHL.

“I’ve never had a season like this in my 26 years at the organization. It’s never been so hard,” Sommer said Wednesday morning. “You’re losing five games in a row and it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, the roof is falling in.’

“But we went through some big sections where we didn’t win games and it’s hard. I don’t care if it’s the American League or the NHL or AAA hockey or the sprints, you lose so many games in a row and it’s hard.”

That is why Bordeaux’s arrival in the Gulf region comes at a critical time.

SAN JOSEA, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 13: Thomas Jose Bordeaux (23) of San Jose Barracuda appears to move against Bakersfield Condor in the second period at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. (Nhat V. Mayer News Group / Bay Area)

He provides Barracuda with a shot in the arm, although the team’s struggles this season have been largely the result of its inability to prevent goals. And as the second potential of the sharks behind William Auckland, Bordeaux’s presence in the organization provides hope that a few more days are better.

You may have noticed that the Sharks’ social networking accounts, from the Twitter account of team president Jonathan Bachar and below, have spent almost no time promoting the organization’s chances this season as in the current club.

They did not precede Bordeaux’s run to the Four Frozen with Michigan, or his arrival in the city after he had 67 points in 61 games with the Wolverines. They were also not ashamed to try to get to know the shark fan base with other prominent prospects in the pipeline.

The Sharks, of course, can not be blamed for trying to sell the future, not when the NHL team and the farm club have lost 18 consecutive games together.

For now, Bordeaux, 20, is still trying to settle down after a few days in the whirlpool.

Just seven days ago, Bordeaux played in the national semifinal game in the Frozen Four with Michigan Wolverines in front of close to 18,000 people at TD Garden in Boston. With Michigan, he was a member of a high-profile hockey college program, one with NHL draft picks and future stars.

It looks like a whole world on Wednesday.

Only a few dozen fans were inside the SAP Center until Bordeaux, who made his AHL debut, took to the ice for a solo lap half an hour before the Barracuda game with Bakersfield.

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