The Vancouver Canucks are in the midst of a youth movement. So, let’s take a look at the club’s top youngsters!
If the Vancouver Canucks want to make their ‘rebuild on the fly’ work, they need a strong foundation of young roster players. We all know the Bo Horvats and Ben Huttons of the team, but what’s after that? How are things for the AHL Utica Comets and what can we expect from the Canucks’ next crop of youngsters?
To answer those questions, our staff ranked all signed Vancouver Canucks players under the age of 25. After compiling a list of the top 10 Canucks prospects recently, this is all about who can help today. And guess what, the Canucks only have a total of 26 players under 25 signed and playing in North America right now.
No. 14 on our list is the other, other Subban brother — Jordan Subban.
Team: Utica Comets (AHL)
NHL Experience: 0 Games
How He Got Here
Hailing from Rexdale, Ontario, Jordan Subban played for the Toronto Marlboros Bantom AAA team and Minor Midget AAA team and lit it up before moving on to play four seasons in the OHL with the Belleville Bulls. In 2010, Subban was awarded the Marlboros’ Buck Houle award for outstanding performance on the ice, loyalty and leadership.
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With the Bulls, Subban achieved star player status racking up 165 points in 253 games. During his final season with the Bulls, Subban was an assistant captain. In 2011-12, Subban was named to the Canada Ontario U17 team and tallied a goal and two assists in six WHC games. Subban’s team won the bronze medal in that tournament.
Overall, Subban is quite the decorated player: in 2012-13 he skated in the CHL Top Prospects game and won the Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal; two seasons later, Subban was recognized for scoring the most goals by an OHL defenseman — 25 goals in 63 games — and was named to the OHL Third All-Star team.
Subban was drafted by the Canucks in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, with the 115th selection.
Where He Is Today
Today Subban finds himself about to enter his sophomore season with the Utica Comets of the AHL after an excellent first year. Last year, Subban scored 11 goals and 25 assists in 67 games, to go along with 38 penalty minutes.
He’s not far from joining the Vancouver Canucks at the big-league level but a season or two more in Utica will only help Subban develop even further. On the other hand, if Subban comes out firing on all cylinders this season and displays a stronger and more responsible defensive game, he might be knocking on the Canucks’ door for a mid-season call-up. Subban may also find himself on the Canucks if there are multiple injuries to any of the defenders.
The young defenseman will look to build upon or at least replicate last season’s success and position himself for a full-time NHL gig in the near future.
Where He’s Headed
The big show.
With his offensive talents and great hockey sense, Subban is bound to play in the NHL very soon. His own brother, Nashville’s current and Montreal’s former defenseman, P.K. Subban, has claimed that Jordan is more talented than he was at this stage of his career. How good Jordan Subban can be remains to be seen but given the almost elite production he’s shown throughout his young career thus far, there’s no reason to think his skills won’t translate to the NHL level.
The Canucks’ blue line is a little clogged this season so there isn’t really a spot for Subban. If any injuries happen, Subban might see some playing time in the NHL in 2016-17, but Andrey Pedan and Alex Biega are blocking him for now. If Subban continues to produce at the level he has been, it will be hard for the Canucks to keep him down in Utica. Likewise, a strong showing in camp could put pressure on the Canucks to find a spot for him.
Down in Utica, Subban will undoubtedly see a ton of time on the power play and will be able to develop into a proper power play quarterback. Subban’s size limits his physical game but he’s tenacious enough and simply has to use his excellent hockey sense to his advantage, reading plays before they happen.
He’s an offensive dynamo, an agile and mobile skater wth fantastic acceleration, and he is learning to be more responsible on his own end and without the puck on his stick. Subban looks like he’ll be a key fixture and important contributor on the Canucks’ blueline for many years to come. He already looks like a mid-round steal from the 2013 Draft.