Apr 14, 2022

Hello, Cuda Country! We’re down to just four more games on the 68-game regular-season schedule and officially done forever at the SAP Center. Although I can’t wait to move into Tech CU Arena next fall, leaving the Tank does come with some mixed emotions. As a kid who grew up a diehard Sharks fan, it was one heck of a thrill to call as many games at the SAP Center as I did. But it’s time to move on and look towards an incredibly bright future for the team and the organization, and I seriously can’t wait.

We had some news come down the pipe this morning as the Barracuda officially announced six guaranteed dates for next season, including the home opener on Oct. 22. So, mark your calendars because the Reef is gonna be rockin’.

Beyond just the home opener, there are several key factors that play into all six guaranteed dates. 

Sat., Oct. 22: First ever regular-season game at Tech CU Arena.

Sat., Nov. 12: Long weekend for Veterans Day.

Tues., Dec. 27: First day of games after the holiday break, meaning the team won’t be on the road immediately following Christmas which is a huge bonus for both the players and staff coming back into town. 

Sat., Jan. 14: Long weekend for Martin Luther King Day.

Sat., Feb. 11: The day before the Super Bowl. 

Sat., Mar. 25: Valuable Saturday after the football season and before baseball begins.

The opponents and full schedule should come out in July.

Shifting gears, let’s start with the big news of the week… the signing of center Thomas Bordeleau. Aside from William Eklund, it’d be fair to say that Bordeleau may be the biggest prospect in the Sharks pipeline. Taken 38th overall in 2020, he was over a point-per-game in his two seasons with the Michigan Wolverines, finishing his career with 67 points (20 goals, 47 assists) in 61 games. On a college squad that featured seven first-rounders this year, Bordeleau finished tied for fourth in points (37), fifth in goals (12), third in assists (25), and sixth in plus/minus (+18). As a freshman last season, he was the recipient of the Tim Taylor Award, given out annually to the best first-year player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey after leading all freshmen in scoring with 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists).

On Wednesday, in his pro debut with the ‘Cuda, he collected three assists including a primary assist on his first shift. He looked poised, confident and well suited in his first AHL action.

At five-foot-nine, 178-pounds, he’s not a physically imposing player but his skills and hockey-smarts are what sets him apart. His father, Sebastien, played in the NHL and so did his grandfather, Paulin. His dad is now a development coach for the Nashville Predators, so Thomas is a refined product and advanced beyond his years. Getting him into some AHL games will be a great introduction to the pro level. Since he’s played the last two years in college, he wasn’t afforded any NHL training camps like major junior players would, so this is a critical opportunity for him to continue to get comfortable with the organization and get his first taste of pro hockey.  

The other big transactional news this week was the signing of defenseman Nick Cicek who has been one of the most encouraging developments of the year. Cicek, 21, has recorded 23 points (five goals, 18 assists), 60 penalty minutes, one power-play goal, one game-winning goal, and 62 shots in 49 games with the Barracuda. Among team defensemen, he is second in points, second in shots, tied for first in assists, and tied for second in penalty minutes. Among league rookie defenders, he is ninth in scoring and tied for 11th in goals. Cicek joins Mario Ferraro, Nikolai Knyzhov, Radim Simek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Santeri Hatakka, Artemi Knyazev, and left-shot defenders now singed within the organizations on NHL contracts.

Cicek hopes to follow the footsteps of several other Barracuda alumni that began on AHL deals before reaching the NHL. I.e. Jake Middleton, Alex True, and Jeff Viel, etc.

In last week’s blog, I wanted you the fans to submit your team award winners. So, thank you to those who sent your answers and participated. Official winners will be announced in the next couple of weeks. That'll do it for this week's edition of Nolly's Notes, thanks for reading, and so long until next time.


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