Jordan Subban: 2013 NHL Draft Player Profile #64

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TopShelfProspects Edit:  Drafted 115th Overall by the Vancouver Canucks.

Jordan Subban looks to follow his two older brothers as a relatively high pick in the NHL draft.  In 2007, older brother P.K. Subban was drafted in the second round of the NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens.  In 2012, the middle sibling, Malcolm Subban was drafted in the first round by the Boston Bruins.  Now Jordan looks to make it 3 for 3 amongst the siblings.  As Malcolm is a goalie, and PK and Jordan are both right handed shooting offensive defencemen, Jordan will always be compared to PK.  The fact that all three siblings played their OHL hockey for the Belleville Bulls certainly doesn’t help either.  Still despite what might be unfair expectations, as PK was a major star in Belleville, and became a superstar with the Montreal Canadiens, Jordan has managed those expectations well.  He had an excellent season for Belleville putting up 15 goals and 51 points in 68 games, and helping Belleville to 1st in the OHL’s Eastern Conference.  Jordan was 6th in the OHL amongst scoring by defenceman, and 1st amongst 1995 born defenders.  Unfortunately the Bulls would fall to the Barrie Colts in the Eastern Conference final.

Jordan also gained international experience this year, winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka tournament.  He also participated in the 2012 World Under 17 challenge with Team Ontario, and brought home a bronze medal in the process.

Born Mar 3 1995 — Rexdale, ONT
Height 5’08.25″ — Weight 175 lbs — Shoots Right

Jordan Subban’s game is defined by his outstanding skating ability. He has very good top end speed and excellent acceleration, and this is true of both his forwards and backwards skating.  Technically speaking his stride is even better than brother PK’s, as it is not nearly as choppy, and seems to be smoother and longer.  He has very good agility, edgework, pivots and turns.  This allows him to be extremely mobile, and be able to cover a huge amount of ice.  The great skating is especially noticeable in Belleville’s home games, played on an Olympic Sized rink.   He has the ability to make quick changes in direction in all 360 degrees.

Subban has an excellent slapshot, and is great at one-timers. He also mixes in an excellent wrist shot with a good release from the point.  Subban’s great agility and footwork allows him to walk the line and open up shooting and passing lanes.  He also has great vision and passing ability and has done a fantastic job as the the Bulls powerplay quarterback, creating plays for himself and his teammates.  The Bulls had some issues scoring goals this season, and so the offence that Subban provided on the powerplay was very much in demand.  Subban is a very good stickhandler which can allow him to lead the rush, and his good skating allows him to join in as a trailer, or to make pinches and still recover in his own end.  There is all the potential in the world in Jordan Subban’s offensive game.

Subban has some issues defensively, but those are almost all based on his size as he measured in at just 5’8.25″ at the NHL combine.  His good mobility makes him hard to beat on the rush, and a quick stick is able to intercept passes, and pokecheck opponents.  He also shows great ability to start the transition game as he is very responsible with the puck, and makes good outlet passes.  He also has very good poise and the ability to skate the puck out of danger when pressured.   The size is an issue though, as Subban is dominated by larger forwards, and has a really tough time winning board battles or clearing the crease.  He has issues in defending against the cycle game and can get pushed around down low.  While he’ll likely always have some issues with bigger forwards, he can improve this aspect of his game by bulking up and adding muscle mass, and strength.

When we talk about playing style, the comparison between Jordan Subban and PK Subban is obvious.  They both have the strong skating, hard shooting, slick stickhandling, and good passing to be offensive dynamos on the blue line.  Now that said Jordan isn’t as good as PK is defensively, and isn’t likely to throw the big hits that PK does.  That said, PK wasn’t exactly the best defensive player when drafted in 2007 either.  In terms of potential we still don’t want to set the bar to unreachable heights though, as the type of improvement that PK has shown from 2007 to today is not something that is likely to be replicated even by his brother.  And Jordan’s smaller size (5’8.25″) may limit his defensive game anyway.  We will peg Jordan’s ceiling as being a superb powerplay quarterback, and 2nd/3rd pairing defender.  He may need to either be paired with a defensive stalwart 5 on 5 or have his minutes sheltered at the pro level.

Check back tomorrow for another NHL draft feature.

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