Undersized, but strong, Subban works out at the NHL Combine in late May.
Screenshot via NHL.com
The Canucks have had some success in recent years drafting Ontario Hockey Leage defenceman in late rounds, with Frank Corrado providing the blueprint. On a controversial draft day, the club may have found another late round steal with the 115th pick of the draft: Jordan Subban.
Jordan Subban, whose eldest brother PK Subban is the reigning Norris winner and whose other older brother and teammate Malcolm Subban was a first round pick of the Boston Bruins a year ago in Pittsburgh, is an undersized offensive defenceman with serious wheels and puck-moving ability.
Read past the jump.
I watched Jordan Subban play a fair bit of hockey, including a small handful of games live when I was covering last years Canucks first round pick Brendan Gaunce, and I generally came away impressed. Jordan would occassionally disappear for long stretches of the games I saw, but for a defenceman whose defensive play is often questioned, that might be a compliment.
Corey Pronman had Subban rated 54th on his big draft board, and described his skillset as such:
Jordan Subban, like his brother P.K., is a right-handed Belleville Bulls defenseman who enters the draft with offensive gifts and defensive question marks. P.K. was selected 43rd overall in 2007, similar to this range for Jordan. Subban is a top-end skater who has the ability to jet up and down the ice as a dangerous puck rusher. He has plus offensive skill, as he can weave through traffic and make quality setups. He can be a little risky with his offensive attacks, however, as well as make poor positional errors on defense. He is a small defenseman at about 5’9", and that brings a solid amount of risk to his projection. His value in his own end is questionable, although he will work hard in one-on-one battles. He can make plays as a stick checker, but as a prospect, he has a high amount of uncertainty based on his defensive projection.
That mostly meshes with what I’ve seen as well. Jordan’s skating is a pretty unique tool, and he’s got a deceptive shot from the point as well. Obviously size concerns are Jordan’s major issue, and probably make for a sufficient explanation of why Jordan was available late in the fourth round. Of course the Canucks have generally drafted slightly smaller defenceman during the Mike Gillis era, a trend that meshes with the Jordan Subban selection.
If Jordan can figure out how to compete in the NHL as an undersized defenceman, he could have significant value as a puck-mover and power-play specialist capable of producing offense against secondary competition. Regardless, I’d say he represents significant value with the 115th pick of the draft.
Here’s video of Jordan Subban scoring a hat-trick against the Sudbury Wolves last season: