National freshman scoring leader, Michigan forward Bordeleau chosen USCHO Rookie of Year for ’20-21

Freshman Thomas Bordeleau led Michigan in scoring with a 30-point effort through the 2020-21 season (photograph: Michigan Images.

You possible really feel such as you’re relationship your self, however in case you keep in mind Nineteen Nineties school basketball, you’ll possible additionally keep in mind the “Fab 5,” a gifted group of freshmen at Michigan within the 1991-92 season that helped lead the Wolverines to the nationwide championship sport.

Those that had an opportunity to observe Michigan’s hockey workforce this season witnessed one other quintet of freshmen – forwards Thomas Bordeleau, Kent Johnson, Matty Beniers and Brendan Brisson together with blueliner Owen Energy.

And whereas this group of 5 by no means acquired an opportunity to play for an NCAA championship after optimistic COVID assessments led to the last-minute elimination of Michigan from the NCAA regional event in Fargo, N.D., this class incorporates a particular degree of expertise.

With such a gifted freshman class, it made it close to inconceivable to decide on which one is finest. However the males’s Division I writers and editors of USCHO chosen Michigan’s Thomas Bordeleau as this yr’s USCHO Rookie of the Yr.

The choice follows Bordeleau incomes the Tim Thomas Award through the Frozen 4, which is offered to varsity hockey’s rookie of the yr as voted on by the coaches.

Bordeleau completed his rookie marketing campaign by main the Wolverines is scoring, posting eight objectives and 22 assists in 24 video games. The 30 factors led the nation in freshman scoring and factors per sport. Together with Johnson and Beniers, in addition to Robert Morris rookie Randy Hernandez, Bordeleau was one in every of simply 4 freshmen to common a degree a sport or higher.

“It was fairly a bunch,” mentioned Michigan coach Mel Pearson. “I’ve been doing this, I’m going into my fortieth yr in school hockey and Division I, and I don’t suppose I’ve seen a bunch of freshmen like those we had this yr.

“It wasn’t simply the depth of 5 – and we had extra – however these 5 have been so gifted. It was fairly evident the second half that they made us go.”

As for Bordeleau, specifically, Pearson says standing out amongst such expertise carries with in one other degree of superlative.

“The purpose totals, he led that group in factors, he did it with flash,” mentioned Pearson. “He performed in each state of affairs for us. That’s the opposite large factor for us. He killed penalties. He was actually good on faceoffs. On the ability play he had the puck quite a bit. He performed in key state of affairs and he performed towards the opposite groups’ prime traces.

“If you say he catches your eye, he performed quite a bit, he performed in a number of conditions. He had the puck quite a bit as a result of he performed heart. After which he had some ‘wow’ performs that made him stand out.”

One ‘wow’ second that stands out for Pearson was an early-season extra time sport winner he scored on the highway at Wisconsin. The poise and endurance he confirmed shifting round defenseman and finally the goaltender opened a number of eyes.

“It was a kind of SportsCenter Prime 10 performs. That catches your consideration. He’s that sort of participant. Your eye is drawn to him as a result of he has the puck quite a bit.

Pearson credit Bordeleau’s preparation on the U.S. Nationwide Staff Growth Program for constructing a 200-foot participant, one who can flash within the offensive zone but in addition backcheck responsibly. Bordeleau was a +18 this season for Michigan, second amongst forwards solely to Beniers, who led the Huge Ten in that class.

“He got here in and had already performed 20-something video games [against] school groups final yr,” Pearson mentioned. “The [USNTDP] a yr in the past, after we performed towards them, Thomas was one of the best participant on the ice. He’s a really sensible participant, very succesful [defensively]. Proper from the get go, he was taking part in a 200-foot sport.”

When requested if he’s stunned by the nationwide recognition that Bordeleau has obtained this postseason with each the Taylor Award and now USCHO Rookie of the Yr, Pearson says he’s and isn’t stunned.

“He’s a really gifted gamers, so no, [not surprised],” Pearson mentioned. “However sure, as a result of the opposite 4 [Michigan] guys all may’ve simply been nationwide rookie of the yr. He had some stiff competitors.”

A humiliation of rookie riches for Michigan and a really deserving recipient as USCHO Rookie of the Yr.

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