While scouts and fans are focused on the 2011 Entry Draft, there's a familiar name getting ready for the 2012 Draft.
Malcolm Subban, younger brother of Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, on Wednesday visited the Westin Bristol Place, home of this week's NHL Scouting Combine, to get a feel for an event he'll almost certainly be invited to next season.
Subban spent his first Ontario Hockey League season with the Belleville Bulls in 2010-11. In 32 games, he went 10-17-2 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. He also earned an invitation to Hockey Canada's summer goaltending camp, which could see him earn the chance to audition for a spot on Canada's 2012 World Junior Championship team.
Before that, though, there was a little shopping trip around the mini-Reebok store set up in a hotel ballroom. Subban tried out gear and checked out some of the stuff pros like Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Miller use. He even pulled on a Miller Buffalo Sabres jersey.
"It's great to come here and see all the stuff," he told NHL.com. "I expected that Reebok was going to be here, but I didn't expect it to be like this. They have the stalls for all the players. I see all the goalie equipment here … it's going to be fun next year. I can't wait."
Subban said he's gotten draft-season tips from his older brother, who went through the draft process in 2007.
"He knows all the scouts are going to be there every game to watch you, there's always going to be guys watching you, so you have to act professional," Malcolm said of his brother's advice. "You always have to come to play and be prepared. Can't let your guard down."
One advantage Malcolm might have on P.K. might be one of his teammates next season in Belleville -- Jordan Subban, who will be the third brother to play in Belleville.
"We're really fortunate that all of us can play there," said Malcolm. "Me paying with my brother (Jordan), I've never really experienced it. I think it'll be pretty cool."
Jordan, like P.K., is a defenseman. So how did Malcolm become the family odd-ball?
"I volunteered to be the goalie," said Malcolm. "When you're on the ice in the backyard and the hallway, I always volunteered to be the goalie.
"I was a defenseman until I was 12 and I always wanted to play goalie. I love both positions. I wish I could play both, but I just had a passion for goalie and my dad let me play when I was 12 and I was happy ever since."
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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