Subban hoping to follow brothers' path to spotlight
Mike G. Morreale
Jordan Subban has had the benefit of watching two older brothers succeed in the Ontario Hockey League then hear their names called at the NHL Draft.
Now it's time for little brother to earn his moment in the spotlight.
At least that's what Jordan, a defenseman with the Belleville Bulls, is hoping for come June 30 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., when Subban is expected to be picked in the second or third round at the 2013 NHL Draft.
"I don't really put too much emphasis on the fact my brothers are so successful and because of that I might feel added pressure," Subban told NHL.com. "Having brothers that are so successful is an advantage more than anything. It's great to just pick up the phone and get advice."
Jordan Subban is expected to be picked in the second or third round at the 2013 NHL Draft. (Photo: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
P.K., a defenseman who was a 2007 second-round pick (No. 43) of the Montreal Canadiens, was No. 102 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters heading into the 2007 NHL Draft. Jordan is No. 81 on Central Scouting's midterm list of North American skaters, which was released in January. Middle brother Malcolm, selected by the Boston Bruins in the first round (No. 24) of the 2012 NHL Draft, was regarded as Central Scouting's No. 1-rated goalie.
"With Jordan, he's going to have a great opportunity but he's going to have to work hard for everything he gets," P.K. said.
Belleville coach George Burnett said, "Jordan's game has developed significantly over the past season. He came into Belleville with much higher expectations than his two older brothers since he was a first-round pick (No. 5 in the 2011 OHL Draft). But his ability to make the big plays and do so in an up-tempo style makes him one of the best young defensemen in the OHL."
In 2012-13, his second season with the Bulls, Jordan finished sixth among OHL defensemen with a career-high 51 points (15 goals, 36 assists) in 68 regular-season games. He had five goals and 20 points as a rookie in 2011-12.
It was only natural that Jordan play defense.
"I looked to my brothers as role models when I was younger, and at the time they were both playing defense so I just kind of wanted to be like them," he said. "Defense was something they were both doing, so it kind of grew on me."
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Subban, who is regarded as having one of the better shots from the point in this year's draft class, considers himself an offensive-minded defenseman. After all, he's a tremendous admirer of New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
"I remember when I was younger, I used to watch highlights of [Kovalchuk] on YouTube … he was one of the most exciting players," Subban said. "I remember when he was playing in Atlanta he had a couple of amazing end-to-end rushes. I just like watching him and the way he plays. He has so much energy."
Subban said he has taken a little bit from each of his brothers during his two seasons in Belleville. He admits that while P.K. is more of a take charge-kind of player, Malcolm preferred to let his play do the talking.
"I think I'm a guy who can take care of my own end," Subban said. "I wouldn't say I'm a liability out there, and I like to be used in key situations for my team. I like contributing up front and moving the puck up to my forwards and scoring on the power play."
Subban had six power-play goals this season and had a plus-22 rating. In eight playoff games, he has two goals and a plus-8 rating. The Bulls held a 2-0 lead against the Sudbury Wolves in their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series. The Bulls last won the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champion in 1998-99.
"Jordan has an excellent shot that is hard and accurate," NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards told NHL.com. "He forces the goaltenders to make a save every time. I have seen several of his point shots get tipped in front for goals."
Subban also took great pride in the fact he was named the OHL Academic Player of the Month for December in the East Division. As the son of a school principal (Karl) and an accountant (Maria), academics are important in the Subban household. His sisters, Nastassia and Natasha, are teachers.
"My dad is a principal, so he likes when I'm doing well in school, and my mom has a tremendous work ethic," Subban said. "They are two important people in my life. I like to think I'm a good student, so winning that academic player of the month honor was really nice."