BostonBruins.com –-Malcolm Subban is no stranger to competition. He was born in it. He was drafted into it. In fact, he can’t even walk into his own household without confronting it.
An aptitude to be competitive, rather than complacent, is what so many organizations want to see in the development of their young talent. Whether you’re the middle child of three boys, or an NHL draft pick in an ice-hockey family, you’ve got to feel at home when others try to outshine you.
Assistant GM Don Sweeney reiterated this point during this summer’s development camp, explaining how internal competition breeds the best product they can put on the ice.
And competition there has been...
Prior to the draft, Subban attended Hockey Canada’s Program of excellence goaltending camp in Calgary and even then he was one of eight goaltenders just in his group alone.
Entering the draft, the 18-year-old found himself on a long list of North American Goaltenders, shuffled with a long list of European Goaltenders. When the Bruins stepped to the podium in the first round of the draft, he was the golden child for the night.
But that didn’t come with any entitlement. Subban was one of six goaltenders that the Bruins rolled out onto the ice for development camp, including the newly signed Niklas Svedberg who was coming off a championship season in the Swedish Elite League.
After playing in Belleville, honing his skills in Calgary, getting drafted in Pittsburgh, and working at development camp in Boston; the Black & Gold can now watch one of its newest sons make the family proud in Yaroslavl, Russia as he represents Team Canada in the Canada-Russia Challenge.
Yet competition - to competition’s credit - somehow managed to follow him like a shadow throughout the extensive traveling and found him halfway around the world in Russia.
As a goalie in the Canada-Russia Challenge, Subban still finds himself amidst Maxime Lagacé and Laurent Brossoit who are also bidding for starting time. Each of the three goaltenders started respectively in the first three games of the challenge.
Growing up with two brothers, the B’s first round selection took a third of the share with grace, and against a stellar Russian squad Subban was the only goalie of the trio to earn a win.
With the fourth and final game of the Challenge tonight, it will be interesting to see which goalie Head Coach Steve Spott gives the nod to for the extra start, and even more enticing to watch Canada’s World Junior roster coalesce for December – as Subban will surely contest for a starting role as he continues to emerge from world class competition.