Bordson Signs with Anaheim

     While Rink and Run was diligently covering the NCAA Division I women’s championship game Sunday in Minneapolis, Jimmy Bellamy of the News Tribune caught up on the news of UMD junior winger Rob Bordson of Duluth signing with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. Here is Jimmy’s story:

Minnesota Duluth junior left winger and Duluth native Rob Bordson has signed a free-agent contract Sunday with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, and will forgo his senior season.

Bordson, 21, signed a prorated two-year deal worth approximately $900,000 per season — the maximum for a 22-year-old free-agent signee; he will be 22 on June 9 — if he remains with the NHL club. Bordson will report to the team in Anaheim later this week and be with the Ducks the remainder of the regular season.

"I had a pretty busy day and some tough decisions, but at the end of the day I’ve always wanted to play professional hockey. It was a tough decision leaving my hometown and college, but it was too good of an offer to pass up," Bordson said Sunday night. "Nothing would have been guaranteed for next year. I think it was time to move on and take that next step in my career."

Bordson, a 2006 Duluth Marshall graduate and former Duluth Denfeld High School student, had a career-high 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists) in 40 games after playing in 15 games with no points as a sophomore in 2008-09.

Bordson said it was tough breaking the news to the Bulldogs coaching staff.

"It was definitely very difficult. I love everyone at UMD. They were very professional about it, very supportive. They were very helpful. It was tough leaving them," he said. "Everyone wants to be a professional hockey player. I think it was the time to do it."

Anaheim (33-29-8) is 13th in the Western Conference with 74 points, nine points back of the eighth and final playoff spot with 14 games remaining. If the Ducks make the postseason, Bordson will not be eligible to play due to joining the team after the playoff-eligibility cutoff.

The Ducks begin a three-game road trip through Canada on Tuesday, playing at Calgary, Vancouver (Wednesday) and Edmonton (Friday).

Bordson, 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, spent a year in the United States Hockey League playing for Cedar Rapids (Iowa) before joining UMD in 2007-08.

Bordson soon will share a locker room with players he previously played as in video games not that long ago.

"The past few hours, I’ve been thinking about that stuff," he said. "Guys like [Ryan] Getzlaf and [Scott] Niedermayer, who just won a gold medal with Canada. My whole life I’ve been watching these guys play. And Teemu Selanne, he’s definitely the franchise player for them.

"It’s gonna be pretty cool. I can’t wait to get out there and meet those guys and get on the ice and get some tips and advice. There’s some pretty good veterans. I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone in that organization."

19 thoughts on “Bordson Signs with Anaheim

  1. I’m still not sure why there isn’t a rule that if you get a scholarship for hockey or any other sport you must complete your 4 years before turning pro….college hockey is really suffering with this problem. Attendance is down,there is virtually no advertising and so on. It’s hard to get behind a player or a team when the good players come and go in a year or two. That’s what junior hockey is for.

  2. Attendance is down? Where? Maybe a little bit in Duluth, but can we honestly say that’s because of kids leaving early?

    Good for Rob!

  3. yes attendance at the DECC is less than HALF of what it was 15-18 years ago, that’s a fact. and that doesn’t include the people who pay for tickets now and never show up (cept for Minnesota and Nodak) because the product isn’t consistently good.
    But I agree with ??? whoever that is. Something needs to be done. You can’t begrudge Bordo for seeing $$$$$ (and good luck to him, he was becoming one of our best players) although he likely won’t be playing in the NHL and his minor league contract will be a tiny fraction of that $900,000.
    But the system is broken. While it’s great to have NHL prospects in the WCHA/college hockey, it’s not worth it to see them play a year or two and then leave. I’d rather have lesser, dedicated talent stay all four years.. but it has to be everyone, all teams, not just us…
    I’m not sure what to do but there are schools that never seem to lose anyone (Michigan) and still compete.
    If the NHL moved their draft age one year older that would help push things back some, but the NHL doesn’t care about college hockey so the NCAA is going to have to do something. but they won’t.
    Anyone got an idea? When guys like Oberg and Bordson and others who are marginally NHL caliber leave early, it really hurts college hockey. let’s try to do something and see if it works.

  4. I wouldn’t think Bordson makes more than the minor league minimum for a while. I may be wrong, but he dosen’t seem anywhere near NHL level talent.

  5. BBP

    The DECC might have only been half full for the playoff games, but I challenge you to tell me what other weekends this season the rink was that empty.

    I was at games in St. Cloud, Mankato, Minneapolis, Bemidji, and Grand Forks this season, and those buildings were all pretty much full both nights. The statement that attendance is down in college hockey is nothing more than a “sky is falling” fallacy, an overstatement somehow meant to justify an already-reasonable argument.

    Hard to begrudge a kid for leaving after three years, though. The kids have a right to go make a living if they think they’re ready.

    No one thought Oberg would be ready last year, but he’s had a good year in the AHL and even got to play in the NHL for a game this year. Hopefully Bordson can surprise all the naysayers.

  6. Congratulations, Rob! You will be missed! Hard work, good grades, and hockey sense… he had the total package for a student-athlete.

    These days, the only way to keep kids from leaving early is to not recruit good players. It is a sad reality.

  7. The DECC wasn’t half full, but it was one fourth empty for many of the games. many.

    Here are the facts on UMD attendance
    1984-85: 157,257
    1985-86: 134,472
    2007-08: 79,092
    2008-2009: 76,246
    Hmmmm… doesn’t that pretty well show the sutdents and town have sort of dropped the Bulldogs off their must do list?

  8. Rob is a good person from a good family. He has worked hard and not been afraid to take a chance. His academic performance has also been commendable. It is extremely naive to think any young man playing at the Division I level does not have aspirations of playing professionally. These kids are young…let them play…they can finish a degree anytime. Congrats Rob!!

  9. Way to fudge the numbers. UMD averaged 4,513 fans for 22 home dates this season. That’s 86.2% of tickets sold for all home games.

    Using the same definition for attendance that they use at all other rinks in the country, UMD ranked 15th out of 58 Division I programs. They finished ahead of Maine, Ohio State, and Northern Michigan in both overall attendance and percentage of capacity, and they did a better job filling their building than Michigan State, Boston College, and Boston U. all did, as they sold more tickets than UMD but had more seats to fill.

    Not only that, but if the Bulldogs would have sold out every game, they would have only sold 115,000 or so tickets, far short of the 1980s numbers you quoted.

    Outside of the games played while the students were on break, the student section was full the vast majority of the time, so if you don’t think enough students are going to the games, perhaps you should talk to UMD and the DECC about making their section bigger.

  10. College hockey isn’t the victim here. They have pressured high school kids to leave their home schools to join juniors before they graduate from high school or ask potential freshmen to spend two years in juniors before coming to college. This is what they get for demanding bigger, faster, stronger.

    The whole system is to blame and needs to be fixed.

  11. Anaheim had his rights before he stepped one foot on the UMD campus. So, if want to blame someone, blame the NHL.

    Anaheim is struggling and looking for younger players to step up and play for this year and years to come.

    You can’t blame the player when they offer him money to do what he has probably wanted to do his entire life. Play in the NHL.

    You’d get far less talented players who wanted to play for 4 years at UMD, but then we would be complaining about how bad the product is, right?

  12. David, Rob was undrafted. However, I agree with what you are saying.

    If we wanted to keep guys all 4 years, we might as well become D3.

  13. It’s a rock and a hard place.

    If you recruit drafted players, you have the NHL team looking over your shoulder and questioning everything you’re doing, especially if you decide to leave Precious Little Johnny as a healthy scratch once in a while during his freshman year.

    If you recruit free agents, you’re getting guys who don’t have that baggage, but instead have agents and scouts and GMs and their minions hanging on them like leeches as soon as they start playing well.

    If you start going after guys NHL teams don’t want in any way, you become Michigan Tech.

  14. Hockey Fan, that is EXACTLY what is going on with the Gophers right now. Scouts and team reps are pretty much dictating the lineup, the power play, everything.

  15. I wish Rob the best, albeit playing for the despicable Ducks. He really made significant progress in his game this year, and while not really being NHL ready right now, the sky’s the limit for him.

    Very sad he left, however.

  16. I’m not sure what it means when you leave Denfeld to get to the state tournament or leave UMD to get into the NHL. The staff at Denfeld and UMD invested their time and, in the case of UMD, kept the faith when the prospects weren’t looking too good. When the prospects greatly improved, then what did they get? This reminds me of what has been happening in the financial industry in the last several years, which is why the public has lost confidence in the 24 year olds who have been making enormous financial decisions. Sure, it can feel nice riding a wave on the way up, but what has happened to the idea of loyalty to your team, your coworkers or your clients? It might look like an attratice business decision, but what is a business decision without considering these other factors?

  17. I wanted to add that oftentimes what is lost when riding a wave are those connections or relations, which otherwise would be rock solid, that would be there had the wave not been ridden. When a wave is no longer there, then it is those loyal relationships that are more valuable than anything else. It is those people who are always there for them because they know that the people who they are there for would always do the same, notwithstanding what those people were able to do in their career.

  18. I was mistaken about Bordson. Denfeld people were not mad because Bordson transfered because of college prospects. I wish him luck with
    whatever he chooses to do.

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