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Photo Credit: NHL.com

Canucks Army Pre-Season Prospect Rankings: #9 Jordan Subban

Christopher Nolan’s Inception may have been overrated, overlong, and overwrought*, but it did brilliantly articulate a truth about the human mind: The simplest idea, if implanted in the subconscious mind, can wreak havoc on a person’s ability rationally perceive their surroundings.

It also gave me what is, to date, my only theory as to why the discussion around Subban as a prospect has unfolded in the manner it has since he was drafted with the 115th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The tone of the coverage Jordan Subban has received within the city of Vancouver defies the realm of the physical, of what our simple understanding of the universe considers to be possible. That leaves us searching for an answer that borders on the metaphysical, and I have the Nolan brothers to thank for it.

One night, likely in late 2013 or early 2014, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, and co. implanted themselves deep within the subconscious minds of a variety of influential members of Vancouver’s media class, (and, apparently, a few Redditors,) and whispered these words in the void:

“You only care about Jordan Subban because of his last name. If he weren’t PK’s brother, no one would be interested.”

It’s the only thing that explains how consistently bizarre, and to be frank, wrong many of the talking points surrounding Jordan Subban have been. This idea (among others) has been implanted so deep within our collective subconscious that it’s deeply affected our ability to distinguish truth from fiction.

I can’t speculate as to who would do such a thing or for what nefarious purpose, or whether or not it constitutes tampering under NHL by-law 15. What I do know is that if someone doesn’t set the record straight soon, we’re going to have members of the Vancouver sports commentariat throwing themselves off buildings while shouting things like “Why don’t they just convert him to forward?” 

Jordan Subban clocks in at #9 on our countdown of the Canucks best prospects.

Qualifications

We’ve changed the qualifications up just a little bit this year. Being under the age of 25 is still mandatory (as of the coming September 15th), but instead of Calder Trophy rules, we’re just requiring players to have played less than 25 games in the NHL (essentially ignoring the Calder Trophy’s rule about playing more than six games in multiple seasons).

Graduates from this time last year include Brendan Gaunce, Troy Stecher, and Nikita Tryamkin, while Anton Rodin is simply too old now, and Jake Virtanen is not being considered solely as a result of his games played.

Scouting Report

Before we get into the gritty details, I’d just like to extend my sincerest gratitude to everyone who made it through my long, rambling homage to a seven-year-old blockbuster that most people (rightly) struggled to understand even as they were watching it.

Writing about prospects is hard, and giving any worthwhile analysis is even more difficult. That’s why a lot of what’s been said about Subban is somewhat understandable. He’s complex. But if we’re completely honest, a lot of what’s been said about Jordan Subban by both defenders and detractors is only slightly less ridiculous than “the cast of a multi-million-dollar Warner Bros. production re-arranged the structural integrity of my amygdala.”

I think what so many people don’t understand about Jordan Subban is that he’s incredibly offensively gifted. That’s something that the numbers bear out, and that you can verify with your own eyes. Other than Jesse Puljujarvi, I found Jordan Subban to be the most immediately noticeable player at last summer’s YoungStars tourney. When he was at his peak, he was capable of looking every bit like his older brother’s offensive equal. As an admitted outsider to the world of hockey jargon, I don’t possess the linguistic ability to describe the way he looks at the top of his game, but at times he almost looks like he’s hovering an inch or two of the ground when he carries the puck up the ice.

From a numbers perspective, Subban has always been well above the calibre of what would be expected from a former fourth round pick. Among qualifying AHL defenders under the age of 22, only four scored at a higher point-per-game pace than Subban: Ryan Pulock, Kyle Wood, Julius Honka, and Vince Dunn, all of whom are now considered blue-chip prospects if they weren’t at the time they were drafted.

I described Jordan Subban as immediately noticeable, but being noticed isn’t automatically a good thing, and Subban often draws attention to himself for the wrong reasons. As somebody who juggles 4 or 5 other creative endeavours as well as Canucks Army, I don’t get many chances to watch the Comets play, so I’ll refer to what Jeremy Davis had to say about Subban’s defensive play in Subban’s midterm prospect profile:

Which brings us to our other frequently asked question: how bad can he be in his own zone?

The answer, unfortunately, is pretty bad. Subban struggles in multiple areas of defensive play, including position, board battles, gap control, and decision making under pressure. Given time, he can race the puck through all three zones, or make a 60-foot tape-to-tape pass. But when forecheckers bare in on him, he can have trouble making the simplest of plays.

Even while on the power play while charged with leading the breakout, this has been an issue. As a result, he was often saddled with a second defenceman on the power play, in spite of Travis Green’s preference for four-forward units.

 These types of mental errors have notably decreased since the beginning of the season, but even so, they are evidence as to why I’m been supportive of the Canucks keeping him in the minors while he irons out these issues. Even now, getting through a whole game without an facepalm-inducing giveaway is a recognizable achievement – which should tell you how far he’s had to come in that regard.
That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. I’d like to think Canucks Army has done a pretty good job of poking holes in traditional hockey narratives, but in this case, the old school guys are more or less correct. In his own zone, Subban’s a work in progress.
The funny thing about Subban is that he has a knack for confusing even his most fervent defenders. In a late-season edition of The Provies, the usually spot-on Jason Botchford discussed Jordan Subban, and how he was passed over for an injury call-up in favour of the much more boring (but still very good) defender Evan McEneny:

One of this season’s great mysteries remains Subban and how he didn’t get games, despite a Canucks defence which was healthy for about two weeks.

Total.

Before the season, Benning vowed if Subban kept improving his defensive game, he’d get his taste.

Subban did in fact improve his defensive game. He did not get that shot in the bigs.

The undrafted McEneny, however, did.

This isn’t to take anything away from McEneny, a great story who had a nice season with one great offensive run. He became one of Travis Green’s most trusted defencemen, someone he’d use in any situation.

But I found it very interesting the raw data suggests McEneny and Subban may have had identical seasons at even strength.

In fact, it may have been Subban who was the better defenceman.

Subban’s relative goal stats have been better, but it’s McEneny who has the reputation as the responsible d-man, and the one good enough in his own zone to get him some NHL action.

It’s Subban who gets snubbed all season despite improving defensively, despite quality even strength data behind him and that evidence he carries his pairing partner while McEneny did not.

And there’s this:

He’s really good on the power play and the Canucks are, well, not.

You ever think that maybe all the people who believe Subban is a tire fire in his own end are …. wrong?

The data that Botchford is referring to here is basically on ice goal-differential. Both Subban and McEneny were 50% GF% players at 5-on-5 at the time the piece was written. Subban, however, had a slight edge in terms of relative GF%.

There’s been a desire among the people in this market that desperately want to see Subban play to find something- anything– that would point to the concerns about his defensive play being overblown. Unfortunately, in this case, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. GF% isn’t a great predictive metric, and a 5% swing in relative goals isn’t really large enough to draw any strong conclusions.

That doesn’t mean Botchford’s point isn’t without merit, though. Subban may be an adventure in his own end, but he was also a positive GF%rel player at 5-on-5 this year. Even if he’s turning the puck over on a constant basis, it hasn’t resulted in his team being outscored relative to his teammates. That’s an important bit of context, because it indicates Subban’s offensive capabilities may be enough to make up for the areas in which he struggles. More importantly, his contributions on the man advantage are enough to make him a net positive for his team, at least at the AHL level.

Subban’s stock has taken a bit of a hit, even around here, but that’s almost entirely due to the talent the Canucks have added since the 2017 trade deadline. No less than five of the prospects ahead of Jordan Subban on this list weren’t in the system the last time we did our prospect rankings. That’s an insane haul for only half a year’s time, and to be completely honest, if not for the sweet siren’s song of recency bias, Subban would probably be a few slots higher on our consensus ranking.

Draft analytics paints a somewhat underwhelming picture of Jordan Subban, who now carries an expected success percentage of just 14.1%, down significantly from the numbers he’s posted in previous editions of our prospect rankings. Out of six matches, Subban’s only successful cohort was Andrew Ference.

It should be worth noting that pGPS can be volatile, and Subban has fallen victim to this in a manner worse than most of his peers. Just a short time ago, he carried an expected success percentage above 50% and counted Sami Vatanen and Torey Krug among his successful cohorts.

Subban’s been talked about so much in this market that it’s easy to forget he only just completed his second year of pro hockey. He’s still only 21-years -old, and plays a position that’s notoriously difficult to master.

One of the most frequent questions I get about prospects is a variation of “If player X and player Y are virtually the same age why are you willing to write off one, but not the other?” In this market, Jake Virtanen is a frequent example. Some of you reading this may even be wondering why so many writers at Canucks Army seem willing to draw strong conclusions about Jake Virtanen but not Jordan Subban, who is one year his senior. The answer lies in the concept of ceiling, and our ability to predict a player’s likely value based on their scoring pace.

In Virtanen’s case, we more or less knew that, barring an unforeseen jump in production (which is always possible), his most likely career outcome was that of a bottom-six or replacement-level player. Even Jake’s most fervent defenders now seem to agree that the biggest question about Virtanen isn’t about how likely he is to be a high-end offensive player, but about whether or not he can carve out a role as a utility player in the NHL.

Subban is different. “Boom-or-bust” is an overused term when it comes to prospects, but in this case, it applies. Subban has proven at every level that he can put up the kind of numbers that point towards a good chance of being an NHL contributor. You can’t teach offense, and Subban has it in spades. Defense, on the other hand, is a discipline. It can be learned, and practiced, but it takes time. A little patience could go a long way. The question is whether or not Subban can put it all together.

Even if you take the bad with the good, I think there’s still reason to be optimistic about Jordan Subban’s chances of making an impact on an NHL roster someday. Given the way the Canucks’ brass has spoken about him in the past, I’m less optimistic that it will be in Vancouver.

 

BONUS TALK: Moving Subban To Forward

I reserved this profile ages ago, mainly as a way of airing my grievances with a number of ideas that have been bandied around this market for the past few years. So, in the spirit of self-indulgence, this profile wouldn’t be complete without exploring one last monumentally stupid idea.

Perhaps the most weirdly persistent myth about Jordan Subban is that he should be moved to the wing. In fact, that idea is even more widespread than I had originally thought.

Maybe it’s just a twitter thing?

Never mind.

So, since this idea is so popular, it must have some merit, right?

No. No. God no. Kill it with fire.

This was rather elegantly covered by Jeremy in the midterm prospect profile, which I highly recommend to anyone who’s interested in further reading on the subject. But just for the purpose of finally putting this notion to bed, I’ll give my take on the subject.

There are so many reasons why this line of thinking doesn’t make any sense when any level scrutiny is applied. First of all, the idea that offense and defense are two separate elements of the game is incredibly facile. Defensemen aren’t solely tasked with preventing the opponent’s attack and defending the blue line any more than forwards are solely tasked with playing beyond the red line. The assumption that Subban’s defensive deficiencies will somehow be diminished at forward really shows how little some fans understand about what makes him effective.

Subban’s greatest skill, by far, is his skating, and his ability to lead a breakout. Moving him up the ice only serves to mute that ability. By the same logic, any defensive forward would be better served playing on the back end. It makes absolutely no logical sense, and yet the idea continues to permeate the discourse surrounding the Canucks’ prospect pool.

It also presupposes that moving someone from the position at which they’ve played for the majority of their hockey playing career is something you can just do at the drop of a hat. Sure, it worked for Brent Burns and Dustin Byfuglien, but they are truly elite players. I think the world of Subban, but he simply isn’t that. The next time you hear somebody bring this up, take it as an invitation to tune out. It’s a very good indicator that the person you’re speaking to has no idea what they’re talking about.

*Author’s Note; I actually didn’t mind Inception, but damn if it wasn’t longer, more confusing, and more hyped than it ever needed to be.

  • Killer Marmot

    CA has long preached that moving a defenseman up to forward is an unnatural act and abomination onto God. They seem quite certain of that.

    But the longer Subban spends in the minors, and the more prospects there are who elbow themselves ahead of Subban in the depth chart, the less there is to lose by trying. It might be a desperation move, but if he does not make the Canucks out of training camp this year then things will be getting a little desperate for the 22 year old.

    • Braindead Benning

      Considering that Pedan was used as a forward and has less to contribute besides his frame why not try Subban as a forward. Many others has been called up to audition so why not at least give the guy a chance… what’s to lose at this point when the team is going to finish bottom 10 anyway

    • Forward Thinker

      It should not be about how to achieve a career for Subban. That is his responsibility. The team, though, should be trying to get the most out of the prospects and that might mean examining where there talent is best used.

    • Billy Pilgrim

      Subban at forward doesn’t really make sense to me. Pedan is a big body who was sent in to forecheck (read: hit) on the fourth line. Plus it was not an overly successful experiment. As Jackson points out, Subban’s value is actually as a defenseman who can rush the puck. The hope has to be that he figures out the defensive side of his game so that he can be that swing defenseman who plays third pairing minutes but leads the powerplay.

  • Bud Poile

    “Subban’s greatest skill, by far, is his skating, and his ability to lead a breakout.”
    True enough.
    Elite skating ability going in reverse is generally why players are placed in the defensive position at a young age.
    90% of forwards can’t skate forwards at his level,never mind going backwards.

  • Jabs

    Jordan Subban is likely to go down in history much the same as Steve Kariya, Sean Pronger, and Fedor Fedorov……..the brother of a superstar drafted by the Canucks…….rooted for by fans but unlikely to make much of a mark in the NHL

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      Sure, except that Steve Kariya was a Lilliputian in an age where size was overvalued, Sean Pronger was actually the older brother and a more or less known quantity before his brother became a megastar, and Fedor Fedorov was a class A prick with no work ethic whatsoever. Jordan Subban is small (not like Kariya though) but in an age where that’s less of a liability, he works hard and has tremendous talent. Someone is going to benefit from this kid’s ability, I’m sad that it isn’t likely to be us.

  • Burnabybob

    The things that makes me skeptical about Subban are 1) his size, and 2) he’s never had a positive +/- in junior hockey through the minors. (Plus minus may be an old fashioned metric, but still. )I find it hard to believe he will be able to overcome those things to thrive in the NHL. I hope he proves me wrong, but “bust” seems more Likely than “boom.”

  • Steamer

    Great post – thanks for the hard work involved! Subban’s real problem (IMO ) = Mike Gillis lineage. Should have had a shot, if only for a couple of games during last season’s final weeks. PP #’s suggest he could more than compensate for D-zone failings, especially if limited to mostly #6 minutes with PP added in.

      • defenceman factory

        didn’t Gillis also sign Tanev and draft Hutton and Horvat?

        I don’t believe Benning not wanting players from the Gillis era is a thing at all. Willy, on the other hand, had some unique views on player deployment. Green knows Subban very well. If he feels he deserves a shot he’ll get one. If not we will have to come to terms with the fact Jordan just isn’t good enough for the NHL. A characteristic shared by most Gillis draft picks.

        • truthseeker

          yep…that’s a great post. Canuck fans get really weird and all conspiracy about this kind of stuff and it’s ridiculous.

          This league is about MONEY. The money that the team makes, the money the managers and coaches make, etc….and that money comes from winning. If J. Subban gives them a better chance to win then he will play. No GM/coach anywhere is going to not play someone who will help the team win, out of spite. (unless there is some underlying reason like said player slept with the coaches wife or whatever…maybe then)

  • DJ_44

    Good article.
    The report on Subban’s defensive short-comings is damning, and well….this is only at the AHL level. He can and does hammer the puck from the point, and can skate, but doesn’t have the hockey sense to put it together. I watched a fewe Utica games last year. No doubt about it…. the puck jumps of his stick on they PP. But he is poor at defending (at that puts it mildly). If he cannot make a play with pressure in the AHL, do you really want him in the NHL coughing up the puck every other shift?

    Maybe his road trips to Nashville will turn on a light, but McEneny looked like he had the chops to play in the NHL.

    It is amazing how Botchford will purposefully distort meaning in statements:

    Before the season Benning vowed if Subban keep improving his defensive game he would get a taste

    I guess Botchford is the only one who did not realize the going from terrible>”pretty bad” is not the level of improvement that was required.

  • Dirk22

    5 players acquired in last half year who are higher than Subban…I can only think of 4. This is how it’s going to break down – heard it here first folks:

    8. Lind
    7. Gaudette
    6. Goldobin
    5. Dahlin
    4. Demko
    3. Juolevi
    2. Pettersson
    1. Boeser

  • truthseeker

    Inception was over rated? Seriously? Hard to understand? What? I thought you analytics guys would have no trouble with the concepts in a movie like that.

    Sorry dude…you’re way off….sure you need more brain power for it than transformers or some stupid comic book movie that’s dumbed down the larger population….but hard to understand? How about a rewarding story line that doesn’t insult it’s audiences intelligence?

    I suspect if a movie like that is giving you trouble, you might want to look in the mirror before blaming the movie.

  • Doodly Doot

    I’m bored with the hype and hand wringing the media have whipped up over JS. He’s a middling prospect with interesting upside potential. I watched Stetcher often when he played here in Penticton and he was impressively consistent playing the position the right way. Has Subban ever? I don’t know, but it certainly doesn’t sound like it. I’m glad the team hasn’t cut bait on Subban yet. There’s still time for him to evolve his game, but I also wouldn’t put him with the big club until he ‘impresses consistently’ at his position. Much like Stetcher did.

  • Dirty30

    Jackson makes an amazing number of assumptions out of one statement. The first is that for a dman to move to forward, the player would need to be an elite player. Yet when Biega — not an elite player — was moved from D to forward he actually seemed to be more effective. He was throwing hits rather than trying to avoid them, and seemed to be functioning as an ‘energy’ style player. Sidney Crosby he was not, nor did anyone expect him to play above his own level of competence as a forward.

    Ironically, Jackson’s second assumption– that someone cannot change positions at the drop of a hat — must have come as interesting news to Biega as well as Kevin Bieksa who also took a turn as a forward in his career. Again, no one ever stated that Jordan Subban would suddenly be the next C. McDavid, but until you actually try something in reality, it’s only a theory — untested, unproven and equally, unable to be rejected based simply on opinion and bias.

    At face value, it might not look like a good idea — and the plot of many movies and cautionary tales are resplendent with the horrors of actually instigating that bad idea — yet no one has yet proven it’s a bad idea by actually trying Subban as a forward.

    If Subban turns out to be a total flop as a forward, Mr McDonald can rest on his laurels. On the other hand, if Subban shows some aptitude and skill as a forward, I’m certain he coaching staff would be sufficiently competent to provide some instructional development to help him become a better forward.

    BTW: Ben Hutton played forward (mainly left wing, 15 goals, 16 assists, 5th leading scorer for Kemptville) until he switched to playing defence. By Jackson’s logic this shouldn’t work and Hutton should be switched back to playing forward. Except Dmen can’t play forward so that wouldn’t work either.

    Oh the horror.

    • Bud Poile

      The first (assumption) is that for a dman to move to forward, the player would need to be an elite player.D30
      “Sure, it worked for Brent Burns and Dustin Byfuglien, but they are truly elite players.”Jackson

      Biega was not more effective as a forward,neither were Pedan or Bieksa.
      Jordan will be the same.

      Fans entertain the notion that any dman can become an effective NHL forward when it is factually incorrect because it’s a nearly impossible task.
      When Ben Hutton scored 16g 18a for Kemptville he was 7th in team scoring and is listed as a d-man.
      The three seasons he played for Kemptville are all listed as a d-man.
      Even if he did play wing in his first year he made the switch to D as a sixteen year old in junior.
      World of difference throwing a winger on D at the NHL level.
      I’ve never seen it done.
      http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0063472010.html

  • Confused Canuck

    I’m confused. CA are telling us Jordan has great wheels, can put up points, and can do a job on the PP as a pointman. Sounds like a decent winger to me – however as a defenceman he is too small and can’t defend very well, but only an elite defenceman can be switched to forward? Think i will stick to my own judgement thanks. Play Jordan Subban as a winger. There, I’m not confused anymore.

  • Forward Thinker

    As I recall, Alex Burrows was a defensman who could not crack the NHL. He had speed and a good work ethic and made a great career at forward.
    I think exploring Subban at forward is not a bad idea. I know forwards need to play a defensive game as well and his deficiencies are not so bad that he could not play a defensive forward game as did Burrows. What it does is make his defensive deficiency less of a liability. As for carrying the puck out of the zone, I recall Naslund taking that role many times. If you want Subban to carry the puck up ice that can be accommodated but his speed at wing makes sense in backing off defenders as well and carrying the puck up ice does not have to start at the goal line. It can start at the blue. His size and defensive lapses make him unlikely to be a great defender, but he could be used on the power play as the fourth forward thus using his assists there. He could also be dropped to Defense to cover in game injuries….you know when you are down one. Using him at forward may well be a great decission…better than keeping him buried in the AHL as a depth defender.
    The other option is to trade him to s team that really needs an offensive Defensman. As part of a package ( with Edler for example so you are offering some one for now and later) may get a first pick plus at trade deadline to a team in the mix. Montreal and Pittsburg come to mind. Perhaps New York.
    Anyway, it seems to me that Subbans prospects in Vancouver as a Defensman is very limited so something needs to be done. He is better than a depth player.

  • Bud the Dud

    Another classic case of terrible player development from the LinBenning clown show – Virtanen, McCann, Juolevi, Tryamkin, Forsling, Shinkaruk and Subban ALL mishandled, undercooked or overcooked, traded or simply left to rot and that’s why Benning is consistently rated as the worst GM in the league… bottomline, not ONE of these picks is playing in a Canucks sweater and it’s a fu-kin disgrace.

    Subban and his agent are counting the days until he can walk away, just like thousands of paying fans already have…not that any of you di-cks would know, not one of you supports the team from your wallet and that’s a FACT… isn’t it.

    • defenceman factory

      Please no one bother to respond to Dud’s posts ever. He is incapable of even considering any explanation for anything other than Benning’s failure. He posts the same thing to every article. If you respond he just spews out more of the same. Not sure but suspect he believes Benning conspired with the Russians to hack the american election, failed to end the opiod crisis and has single handedly caused global warming.

      • Bud the Dud

        Spare us the psycho-babble loser… Jim Benning has had four drafts and soon to be four seasons to get the team back to success… he has FAILED miserably… PROVE me wrong – if you dare!

        • Moderated Post

          As Benning has led the team to 28th and 29th place finishes you’d think he would have placed more importance on “auditioning” youngsters or at least allowing them to get their feet wet and see what they can do at the higher level.

      • RoCkFaThEr

        @defenceman factory…
        Dud has alot of time on his hands since he lost his job in Chilliwack catching chickens.
        Dude should just concentrated on his transitioning.
        Just saying…

    • Moderated Post

      Well, there aren’t a lot of possible explanations:
      1. poor player development as you’ve outlined,
      2. poor player attitude or intelligence that prevents him from learning what he needs to do,
      3. a combination of 1 & 2
      4. Possibly something a little more sinister.

      The confounding factor is that he’s got an older brother that quite successfully plays the position in a bit of a non mainstream way, and you’d think he has access to all of the specialized training by way of his brother.

      • Bud the Dud

        Yep – Benning is a disaster with player development as proven by his poor Canucks track record. It’s beyond bad, and that is proven by the back-to-back failures of both the Canucks and Utica franchises to even make the playoffs.

        Further to this, whether or not PK was pumping his bros tires I don’t know, but he did actually say that Jordan would emerge as the best of the three Subban brothers… clearly under Benning this isn’t going to happen.

        Move on Jordan, I trust PK’s word over the idiotic old fossil who told us “this is a team we can turn around in a hurry” back in 2014!!!!!!!!!!

      • defenceman factory

        @Moderated, you haven’t listed the most likely and by far the most common reason AHL players don’t make the NHL. They just aren’t good enough. Nothing sinister, happens all the time.

    • Bud the Dud

      Haha now he’s quoting the same blogger who told him to LEAVE and not come back. You just couldn’t make it up.

      You’re talking in riddles fool. Go back to Thailand old f@rt, you’re clearly drunk!

  • Naslund

    “when forecheckers bare in on him”.
    I’ve never seen that. It must be disconcerting. Do they do a slow striptease, or do they take it all off at once? Is that even legal?

    • LTFan

      @Forever 1915 – Whether we see Jordan Subban’s defensive mistakes or not is irrelevant. The coaches in the organization have said that defensively JS is a liability. If the professionals think he has improved enough to play in the NHL then he will. All this whining about JS reminds me of the whining that took place when the Leafs picked up Frank Corrado off waivers then promptly sat him for extended periods of time. Finally he was waived to the Marlies before being traded to the Pittsburgh AHL team. There are many players who are fringe NHL players such as Corrado, and maybe Jordan is one of them. That being said, this is the season that will decide his future in the Canucks organization and if he will get his chance in the NHL.

  • Spiel

    The Subban story seems obvious to me. Subban’s chance of playing went down as soon as Stecher showed up and passed him on the depth chart.

    Rare for an NHL team to have one d-man under 5’10, having two d-men that size just doesn’t happen. So until Subban passes Stecher on the depth chart, I don’t see him playing. I think Subban brings more on a powerplay than Stecher, but coaches and management are convinced Stecher is the better all around player.