On Friday evening Bruins’ general manager Peter Chiarelli poured more fuel onto the eternal fire that is the age-old hockey rivalry between Boston and Montreal. With the 24th overall selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Bruins selected goaltender Malcolm Subban, who is, of course, the younger brother of Canadiens’ superstar P.K. Subban.
“The rivalry is just about to begin. I don’t know if he’s (P.K.) gonna like me too much, but to be honest, I never liked him that much” joked Subban in his first meeting with the media as a member of the Black and Gold.
The 18-year-old goaltending prospect – who has often drawn comparisons to Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price — posted a 2.50 goals against average and a .923 save percentage with three shutouts in 39 appearances last season for the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls. In 72 career OHL games, Subban boasts an impressive 2.78 GAA and a .913 save percentage. Subban is a left-handed goaltender from Rexdale, Ontario and was widely considered to be the best North American player at his position that was eligible for the 2012 draft.
“He’s obviously a real good goalie, a tremendous athlete, incredible leg thrust post to post, and he’s a real good kid – solid character.” – Peter Chiarelli
There is no doubting the fact that Subban’s most impressive attribute is his all-world athleticism. This, combined with remendous speed, agility and reflexes are what made Subban the clear-cut number one goalie on the NHL central scouting list. The 6’1”, 190-pounder may be one of the OHL’s smaller netminders, but is often able to use his frame to his advantage in being able to quickly move from post to post. While goaltenders are always the hardest players to project, Subban certainly possesses the skill set necessary to succeed at the NHL level.
The only evident downside to this selection is that Subban is still a few years away from making an impact at the NHL level. “He needs some seasoning, but the foundation is there” remarked Chiarelli. Growing up in a family of defenseman, Malcolm only began to play goalie at the age of twelve.
“I always wanted to play (goalie), I just really had a passion for it. I was a defenseman and my dad was my coach and he didn’t really want me to be a goalie so the year he stopped coaching me, I kept asking him. I said ‘No I want to play goalie,’ and he finally let me.” — Malcolm Subban
His game is not yet completely refined, as he needs to make some serious improvements to his positioning and rebound control. Also, scouts have indicated that Subban has a tendency to allow many goals up high. However, with young ‘tenders Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin already in the fold, the Bruins can afford to take their time and allow Subban proper time to develop.
The story of the Subban family is truly a remarkable one. In the 1970′s, parents Karl and Maria Subban immigrated from the island nation of Jamaica to the suburbs of Toronto in Ontario, Canada without much knowledge of the sport of hockey. Since then, the two have gone on to raise two sons who were drafted into the NHL, with the potential for a third to join them next summer. The middle man of the Subban trio– including younger brother Jordan, who skates alongside Malcolm for the Belleville Bulls — seemed quite enthusiastic about being drafted by the Bruins.
“Boston is a great city, great town. It’s an Original Six team – there’s nothing better you can ask for, to be on an Original Six team. And as you said, I’m a rival with my brother’s team so it’s pretty surreal right now.” – Malcolm Subban
In conclusion, the Boston brass seem to have made out quite well with their first round draft choice, securing a player with the potential to become a legitimate NHL superstar, while strengthening the epic rivalry between the Bruins and the Canadiens.
All Quiet On The Trade Front….. For Now
Despite constant speculation of a possible draft day trade that would have landed one of the many superstars rumored to be available (i.e. Bobby Ryan, Jordan Staal, Keith Yandle, Rick Nash) in the Hub, the Boston Bruins remained quiet during day one in Pittsburgh, standing pat and making their assigned selection at No. 24. However, tomorrow could be a different story for the B’s, as the NHL trade market begins to heat up in advance of the July 1 opening of unrestricted free agency.
Barring an unforeseen trade on Saturday morning, the Bruins will not pick in the second round of the 2012 draft. In fact, the history of the B’s 2012 second round selection is actually one of the more interesting draft story-lines of the year, as it has been traded a whopping four times! The pick was first dealt to Toronto – along with Joe Colbourne and a first round pick (eventually sent to Anaheim to become Rickard Rakell) – for much-maligned blueliner Tomas Kaberle. The Maple Leafs would then deal the pick to the Avalanche for defenseman John-Michael Liles. From there it was sent to Washington in the trade that landed goaltender Semyon Varlamov in Colorado. Lastly, the pick landed in the Lone Star state when it was traded to the Dallas Stars on Friday evening – with forward prospect Cody Eakin – for former Canadien Mike Ribiero.
The Bruins are also without the luxury of a fourth round draft choice, after sending it to Carolina last summer in exchange for defenseman Joe Corvo. Boston is slated to make four selections on day two of the NHL draft, with one pick in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.