You would not expect a guy who is 28 to be in a situation where he is the veteran that some of the kids are trying to lean on to gain an understanding of our beautiful game. Yet, Anthony Duclair finds himself in that position with many of the younger players around him hanging off the one-time 30-goal scorer, trying to understand further how to make more of an impact at the NHL level.
Duclair has taken three young players under his guidance as he joins the team trying to raise his value for potential suitors before being moved on at the trade deadline. Looking after some of the young players on the roster while he is here speaks to the quality of the person behind the player. There were no expectations for Duclair to do anything like this when he was acquired from the Florida Panthers.
Thomas Bordeleau, William Eklund, and Fabian Zetterlund have all migrated towards the Quebecois winger. All three young forwards are skilled guys who want to study under the guidance of an NHL veteran. If it was someone like Mike Hoffman or Mikael Granlund that was the veteran leaders who are on the other side of 30 and have been in this league forever, that’s one thing. But Duclair taking it upon himself to do this is never a bad thing.
The three children seemed to hang off the new Shark in the preseason, trying to learn. That’s a good sign for the prospects the Sharks have in the system trying to get them to break into the NHL. Looking to learn whenever the chance presents itself means they want to develop and become the best versions of the players they can be. San Jose is going to need that, and soon. No team needs help from its prospect pool like this one.