CHL

Malcolm Subban hopes to follow brother P.K. to the NHL

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Mitch Ward, TSN.ca
8/18/2011 9:31:39 AM
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For Malcolm Subban, hockey is a family affair.

His last name is already well known in hockey circles thanks to older brother P.K., who just finished a standout rookie season as a defenceman with the Montreal Canadiens.

Malcolm himself is the starting goalie for the OHL's Belleville Bulls, and also played for Canada at the last winter's World Under-18 Championship.

Younger brother Jordan also plays. A defenceman like P.K., Jordan was selected fifth overall in the OHL priority draft by Belleville, with whom he will join Malcolm next season.

While his two brothers are at home on the blue line, Malcolm broke the family mold by switching to goaltender as a youngster.

"We were all defencemen," said the middle Subban. "I just had a passion for goalie growing up watching all the Don Cherry tapes.

"My dad was my coach and when I was 12 he finally let me become a goaltender and it took off from there."

Malcolm is one of 36 top prospects eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft participating in the NHL's Research, Development, and Orientation Camp this week at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto.

The camp gives NHL scouts and executives a chance to evaluate potential rule changes but also lets teams evaluate some of the best upcoming talent.

"It gives the (general) managers and scouting directors a real opportunity to say 'here's where these kids are at in August'," explained TSN hockey Analyst Craig Button. "Then they can see where they got better or where they haven't seen progress.

"It becomes a real strong collaboration."

For Malcolm it is a chance to showcase his talents, against top competition, for potential NHL suitors.

"Everyone is trying to impress the scouts," said Subban. "But also you have to not try and do too much and just play your game and not modify too much for the scouts."

Having watched his older brother go through the process of being drafted and turning pro has also helped Malcolm avoid getting caught up in all the attention.

"I guess I have an advantage that way with P.K. being older and being able to guide me," he said. "If I have any questions I can ask him."

In turn, Malcolm also gets to help younger brother Jordan adjust to life in the OHL.

"He's already been asking me some stuff cause he's a rookie and I think more will come."

Malcolm's position may differ from his brothers, but he shares many of the same attributes that helped P.K. become so successful in his first NHL campaign.

In the shootout following the second scrimmage on Wednesday, Subban stopped all five shooters he faced including a highlight reel stick-save on potential 2012 first overall pick Nail Yakupov.

"It speaks to Malcolm's great athleticism," said Button of the save. "Yakupov had him right off his feet but Malcolm is such a terrific athlete that he was able to recover and make the save.

"More importantly that speaks to his competitiveness."

In his first season in the Ontario Hockey League, Subban went 10-17-2 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .900 save percentage for the Bulls. He was also the only 2012 draft-eligible goaltender to be invited to Hockey Canada's Summer Under-20 goaltending camp.

With a solid season in Belleville next season Malcolm could potentially one-up his big brother by being taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft. P.K. was selected in the second round (43rd overall) in 2007.

Malcolm isn't about to say he's better than big brother though, yet.

"I think I've got a lot of work to do to stop him," said Malcolm.

Especially if P.K. is able to get off his favourite shot.

"Definitely (on) the slapshot from the hashmarks it's not too fun to be in net," he laughed. "I just try my best."

Subban isn't the only player at camp with hockey in the family blood. Miles Koules, a forward for the U.S. Under-18 team, is the son of Oren Koules, who played for six different WHL teams and is a former part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Koules scored two goals and had an assist in the second scrimmage on Wednesday as his Dad proudly fist-pumped from the stands.

Alex Gudbranson's older brother Erik was selected third overall by the Florida Panthers in 2010, while Brendan Gaunce's older brother Cameron was selected 50th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in 2008.

Malcolm Subban (Photo: TSN.ca)

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(Photo: TSN.ca)
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