Vancouver Canucks prospect defenceman Jordan Subban is developing into an offensive force.
When the Vancouver Canucks selected Jordan Subban with the 115th pick overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, they took a chance at a smallish defenceman who boasts an incredible amount of talent. In fact, his brother P.K. — one of the NHL’s very best — believes Jordan is the most talented Subban. “He will be an amazing player, and I think that a lot of people might look past him, but they’re going to be surprised in the near future how good he is because I really do think he has a lot more potential than both myself and Malcolm,” P.K. told NHL.com before the draft.
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“A lot more potential” than P.K. — a Norris Trophy winner — sounds pretty great. But, constantly being compared to your brother who is a superstar in the world’s best hockey league must be a burden as well.
So, how does Jordan deal with that and how has he been doing since the draft?
Now two and a half years later, Jordan Subban is in his rookie season with the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets. At 5-foot-9, Subban is the shortest player on the entire roster, which is unusual for a D-man. However, he works extremely hard to be stronger than players bigger than him — he is currently listed at 185 pounds, and he is not afraid.
Subban needs to improve defensively, which is the reason why he fell to the fourth round of the draft and why he was scratched seven times in the first 22 games of this season. But, every prospect defenceman struggles in the defensive zone when turning pro. Some struggle more, others do less. That is nothing unusual. What is unusual, however, is Subban’s offensive production when he isn’t scratched.
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What is unusual, however, is Subban’s offensive production when he isn’t scratched.
Jordan averaged .65 points per game in his OHL career while his brother P.K. averaged .81. In his AHL rookie year with the Hamilton Bulldogs, P.K. averaged .69 — Jordan currently sits at .63, and that number is only going up.
Jordan Subban recorded four goals and eight points in 12 games last month, and now sits at seven goals and 24 points through 38 games this season. That ties him for second in team scoring with forwards Brendan Gaunce and Mike Zalewski.
Not only his passing and shooting skill make Subban a dangerous player. His skating, mobility and stickwork really help him as well. Luckily, those skills are also extremely important for the defensive side of his game.
Subban’s focus lies on footwork and positioning, to get him into a position where he can use his stick to win puck battles.
Jordan Subban still has a long way to go. The defensive side of his game is still a concern though he is steadily improving in that regard. He is only 20 years old and has more than enough time to work on every single aspect of his game.
Will Jordan be a better player than P.K.? I’m going to say no. It is nice of P.K. to suggest Jordan could be the most talented of the bunch, but as of today, that seems extremely unlikely.
Still, give Jordan a few more years of seasoning in the AHL, pair him with a defensively sound D-man in the NHL, and see where it goes.
Jordan could most certainly develop into an offensive force. He won’t be a poor man’s P.K. — he’ll be Jordan.
What are your expectations for Jordan? Let us know in the comments!