The Boston Bruins have signed goalie Malcolm Subban, their first-round draft pick from the 2012 NHL draft, to a three-year entry-level deal.
Subban is coming off a win for Team Canada at the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the original, more politically charged Canada-Russia Challenge. Canada won all of the games in the challenge where Subban was in net.
He’s been with the OHL Belleville Bulls for the last two years, the junior team that both his older brother PK and younger brother Jordan played–or still play–for as well. This season, he put up a 25-14 record with three shutouts in 39 games played. His 2.50 goals-against average ranked him fourth among all OHL netminders and his .923 save percentage was fifth in the league. He was undefeated when faced in shootouts, too.
In November 2011, he won Vaughn OHL Goaltender of the Month honors for his 9-1-0 record, 1.48 goals-against average, .952 save percentage and two shutouts that month. He was also ranked first among all eligible North American goalies heading into the 2012 draft.
His rookie season wasn’t a bad one, either. He was second among all rookie OHL goalies with a 3.16 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 32 games. However, he did certainly improve in his sophomore year. Keeping in mind that he has been a goalie for just about six years now, he’s done well.
Subban’s selection was surprising, to say the least, considering that it adds a brotherly aspect to the Boston-Montreal rivalry. It was motivated not by a desire to spite PK, but rather to pick up a talented goalie and one whom general manager Peter Chiarelli expected to be taken early in the draft.
“He’s obviously a really good goalie…A tremendous athlete, [he has an] incredible leg thrust post to post, and he’s a real good kid — solid character. We had him high — but happy to get him,” Chiarelli said after the draft.
Wayne Smith, the team’s director of amateur scouting, agreed.
“His upside is so high and the quality of kid and the person he is is tremendous. Any time you can obtain an asset like that, it’s very exciting,” he said.
Assistant general manager Don Sweeney, who thought up the Bruins development camp that Subban attended earlier this summer, praised Subban’s ability to find pucks in traffic, move swiftly from side to side and use his frame (6 foot 1, 188 lbs.) to his advantage.
Check out some of Subban’s style (and home movies) in this featurette from before the draft:
Note that Subban is just 18 and as such he is not eligible to play for the AHL this season, even if an exemption is applied for first-rounders from the 2011 draft. He’ll be back in Belleville this fall with his younger brother–who is eligible for the 2013 draft–but once he’s of age, he could very well move up the line of succession to Providence.