Will the Canucks get Jordan Subban signed?

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

In recent days the Vancouver Canucks have bolstered their prospect pool along the blue-line by signing Edmonton Oil Kings over-age defenseman Ashton Sautner and hot shot University of Maine defender Ben Hutton to entry-level contracts.

Sautner and Hutton join a a group of prospect defenders that also includes (depending on how you wish to define ‘prospect’) Frank Corrado, Adam Clendening, Andrey Pedan and Nikita Tryamkin. There are some intriguing names on that list, but this group would be an awful lot more interesting if the club could get Belleville Bulls defender Jordan Subban under contract. 

Will they do so? Let’s look into the mechanics at play. 

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We’re fans of Subban here at Canucks Army, mostly because he’s the lone dynamic offensive talent on a woeful Belleville Bulls team. 

Even though he’s a defenseman, Subban is the only 20-goal scorer on his team, leads his squad in total points and points per game, and is just one assist off the team lead in that category as well. We, along with most other fans, would like to see the Canucks get this kid under contract and try to develop him into something since he seems both very fun and good at hockey and we like good hockey players that are fun too.

Subban, now 20 at the tail end of his 19-year old season, lacks the size of his famous older brother, but the five-foot-nine defender has been a top offensive defenseman in major junior over the past three years. 

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A superficial glance at his counting statistics would suggest that Subban’s offensive production has sort of tailed off since his draft year, but he’s been playing on an offensively challenged, rebuilding Bulls club. 

This is critical context when evaluating Subban’s performance statistically. For example, Belleville scored 228 goals in Subban’s draft year and he racked up 52 points (so he was in on 22.8 percent of his club’s goals). This year they’ve scored 192 goals with three game remaining and Subban has managed 47 points (24.5 percent of his club’s goals).

To put it simply, Subban has been a relatively larger offensive contributor for Belleville this season than he was in his draft year, despite his flat-lining raw counting statistics. 

The deadline

Drafted in the fourth-round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft – the same draft in which the Canucks selected the likes of Hunter Shinkaruk, Bo Horvat and Cole Cassels – Subban is by definition on the Canucks’ 90-man reserve list as an “Undrafted Free Agent.” 

The important thing to note here though is that the Canucks’ exclusive negotiating window with Subban is about to close. The Canucks have until June 1, 2015 to reach an agreement with Subban on a three-year entry level contract, or else he’ll be re-entered into the 2015 NHL draft. 

Based on how the two sides have spoken recently though, it doesn’t seem like they intend to let it get to that point.

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Will it get done?

Canucks general manager Jim Benning sure seems to think so. 

“Once his season (is) finished we’ll get to Jordan,” Benning said during an appearance on TSN 1040 in late February. “He’s had a real good season, we’re going to get him signed.”

It doesn’t get much more definitive than “we’re going to get him signed,” especially when that statement is paired with a ‘real good’.

Subban has publicly said similarly positive things about coming to an agreement with the Canucks before the June 1 deadline also. From a recent interview with Canucks.com:

“From my understanding, I believe it will get done,” Subban said. “During the season I don’t like to be involved in that stuff, I let my agent handle it, and from talks with him, it sounds like it’s going to get done.”

So what’s next?

If the Canucks do get Subban’s autograph onto an entry-level contract, it’s most likely that the deal will start at the beginning of the 2015-16 league year. Subban could, once the Bulls’ season is over – and they will qualify for at least the first round of the OHL playoffs – sign an amateur tryout agreement with the Utica Comets, and even compete in the Calder Cup playoffs. 

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The recent additions of both Sautner and Hutton will not affect Vancouver’s ability to sign the young defender. Particularly with Subban’s deal likely to start at the beginning of the 2015-16 league year, the Canucks easily have enough space under the 50-contract limit with a number of players coming off the books  this summer. 

There’s been a good deal of worry and speculation about Subban’s future with the Canucks and whether or not the club will sign him. Though the deadline to get him signed is only two months away, in the world of ‘haggling over a contract ,the terms of which are pretty much already dictated by the terms of the CBA’ that’s eons. 

There’s really no pressure point on the immediate horizon here and from the two sides’ public comments, it sure seems like a deal will get done once Subban’s OHL season ends. 

  • elvis15

    I just wish it’d get done so we can stop hearing people ask, “When’s he going to sign Subban? Does he not want to be here/Benning not think he’s good enough?”

  • The Benevolent Orca

    PK has stated in several interviews that Jordan Subban has more raw talent than he does. But, he’s smaller……

    MY opinion, if Jordan can have a good pairing with a larger defensive minded D man, he’s going to be a big time point producer. The Cancucks have been missing the quarter back D man that can spring the offence for a long time now. The last true offensive D man was Erhofff.

    We need to hope Jordan morphs in to that great player. He needs to get stronger and put on more mass to compensate for his smaller size. That coupled with a raw offensive talent on the blue line is something we desperately need in the future.

  • Ruprecht

    I’m gonna go out on the limb here and say yes, he will indeed get signed, once his season is over.

    On another note, any news on the Kassian suspension for abuse of an official? I’ve been on pins and needles since that article was posted here.

  • Larionov18

    “Will the Canucks get Jordan Subban signed?”

    “It doesn’t get much more definitive than “we’re going to get him signed,” especially when that statement is paired with a ‘real good’.”

    “There’s really no pressure point on the immediate horizon here and from the two sides’ public comments, it sure seems like a deal will get done once Subban’s OHL season ends.”

    You do not know your job.

    A man is his job and you are f***ed at yours.

    Have you ever scouted a game?

    Has this c***sucker ever scouted a game?

    What are you?

    You’re a f***ing secretary…

  • @Ruprecht – I wrote the Kassian thing because I thought some of the reporting coming out of it was a bit odd, and figured it made sense to go over the rulebook and point out that, no, we didn’t really know why Kass was ejected at the time.

    @NM00 (and I suspect this is a fake NM00) – you know nothing about my job, or how to do it, and your abusive language not only isn’t appreciated, but will not be tolerated. Go off like that again and I will ban you from commenting at the network.

    • Ruprecht

      Understandable, and I was busting your chops a little. But it’s also worth noting how serious 40.1, 40.2, 40.3, and 40.4 are, compared to your run of the mill abuse of official calls. There needs to be a deliberate attempt physically…or spitting. The suspension scale starts at 3 games and goes up. In the end, it looked like Kass was actually trying to protect the official trapped under him and hanging on his shoulder pads, once he realized what was going on. Had he laid a pile driver, different story.

      I’ve reffed for a few years, so I know that there’s no messing around when the call is there to be made. I also knew as soon has his Sweater came undone, he was finished for the night. That’s automatic and the right call.

      Thanks for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to discuss.

  • @Ruprecht right but I specifically was arguing that what Kassian did could’ve reasonably been interpreted as: “physically demeans, or deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation”. I stand by that fully.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Fair enough. I’m hoping to give you my interpretation of the rule you are quoting. In the hopes I can sway you a little from your stance.

      I see it as the linesmen never had control of either player at the time, therefore there’s no “getting free” part. So from that point, the rule doesn’t apply. Technically they are just as much a part of the fracas. Especially when the’re jumping in the middle of a few guys still throwing or getting ready to throw.

      You see linesmen taking shots and getting roughed up between fighting players all the the time. Once a player is under control of the linesman, it’s done. They can not physically break free because of this rule. Zack has a black eye to prove it from Reaves. One was under control while the other wasn’t.

      Show me the moment where the linesmen had control of any player in the Phaneuf/Kassian scrum. That will be exactly when this rule applies in my mind. That moment happened well after he reacted to the linesman trying to grab him from the blindside.

      With apologies to Jordan Subban.

  • GMJB has been an awesome GM so far. And I know he will continue to do so. This comes back to asset management. No way do you let Jordan Subban just walk, he is way too promising for that. I’d like to know, and will now do my research as to how many OHL, and for that matter, CHL defenseman have scored 24 goals? Not too many I’d think. And on a crappy team to boot.

    I have full confidence in GMJB that he will get the deal done prior to June 1st. That’s still two full months away. I’m sure we sign Subban to the maximum for entry level contract. It’s not like he’s be able to re enter the draft and get more money on a new team that would draft him. So what it comes down to is does Jordan Subban want to play for the Canucks? And maybe is he pissed off that it has taken so long for the team to sign him? I hardly think that is the case, and why wouldn’t he want to play in a “CRAZY HOCKEY MAD MARKET” like Vancouver? He’s a Canadian boy, he wants to play in Canada like his big bro PK.

    • Why the max, because his big brother is PK. He is a decent defenseman in Junior, but players at his size really struggle at least for a few years.

      He will need time in the AHL, probably a couple of years, if he makes it. I wonder why no-one has thought of turning him into a forward? I think he could be far more effective up front and the size issue would not be as big a deal. He has talent, but he is a Junior, not the Messiah.

      Just because his name is Subban does not mean he will make it. It reminds me of another famous family, the Kariya’s Paul was small, but extremely talented. Steve was smaller and not quite so talented, he never made it.

      Malcolm Subban is struggling and has yet to make the adjustment in Boston. Don’t let the Subban hype go. No way he gets the max, he wasn’t even drafted that high. If he went back in he would be in the back half of the first round, he is a gamble.